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Netscape 8.0 Released 313

Mr. Christmas Lights writes "CNet is reporting that Netscape Navigator Version 8 has been released. The 8.0 Beta debuted back in March, with the final version being based on Firefox 1.03, and includes Trust Rating, a feature which identifies sites as safe or unsafe. Netscape 8.0 also includes a toggle which allows switching between Mozilla and Microsoft's rendering engines as needed. The Main Netscape 8 page has more info, and the 'Download Now' page is already serving up the new browser."
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Netscape 8.0 Released

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  • No thanks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@gm a i l . c om> on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:39AM (#12576721)
    I'll stick with the Real Thing (tm). Now in version 1.04, and corporate ad-ware free!
    • Re:No thanks... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hank Chinaski ( 257573 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:44AM (#12576767) Homepage
      in fact firefox's search box contains links to ebay, amazon, google etc that are sponsored and help to sustain the mofo (mozilla foundation)
      • by Anonymous Coward to sustain the mofo (mozilla foundation)

        Is that what the Mozilla Foundation calls themselves? If so, that's hilarious! : p
      • in fact firefox's search box contains links to ebay, amazon, google etc that are sponsored and help to sustain the mofo (mozilla foundation)

        Ok...but then again if the search box didn't come with those pre-loaded, don't you think everyone would probably add them in anyway? They are some of the most-used sites on the web.
    • Re:No thanks... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gopal.V ( 532678 )
      At least they based Netscape 8.0 on Gecko (with an IE rendering option). Earlier rumours said that 8.0 was going to be based on Internet Explorer. It would have been the ultimate irony.

      Browser is the The Platform [] - expect new IE versions to have a .NET controls integration built into. (integrating that in Mozilla - either mono or dotgnu would be inviting a patent lawsuit).

      • Re:No thanks... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Matrix9180 ( 734303 ) *
        the flash tour says that "trusted sites" will be rendered using the IE method "for better compatability". so the rumors were right :-\
        • Re:No thanks... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by leonbev ( 111395 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @09:56AM (#12577409) Journal
          Believe me, this is a GOOD idea. I've tried converting tons of non-technical people to Firefox, but many of them end up switching back when they can't use a few sites that was designed to only work with IE. Yahoo's LaunchCast and Messenger avatar customization sites come to mind quickly, as do a few online banking and eBay auction tool sites.
          • This still won't convert them to Firefox. It will brand Netscape once more in their faces. Way to go AOL for keeping alive the only thing that can still stand out of the old browser: the name.
      • Re:No thanks... (Score:3, Informative)

        by hawaiian717 ( 559933 )

        Earlier rumours said that 8.0 was going to be based on Internet Explorer.

        It sounds like you're thinking of the AOL Browser [], which is based on IE.

    • Re:No thanks... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! ( 33014 )
      Yah, me too.

      But pesonally, I don't have a problem with somebody trying to build a value added browser.

      You and I may be into to the level of control we have over Firefox, but the average person without a geek support team is going to pretty much use the browser out of the box and isn't going to have the goodies we searched out and installed. It's the difference between painting the pinstripes on your car yourself or getting them as part of a standard trim package from the manufacturer.

      Heck, I'm a happy u
  • Based off of firefox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thundercatslair ( 809424 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:39AM (#12576727)
    So do we actually need a netscape now? I used too use it untill they released 7. It was probably the worst browser I have ever used.
    • Well, it does use both rendering engines in the Windows version. There are still some pages that only work in IE unfortunately.
      • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Thursday May 19, 2005 @09:27AM (#12577133) Homepage
        And those pages should be boycotted and their authors contacted. The web was meant to be accessible to all, not only to those who pay the microsoft tax. And before you say it, i'm not anti microsoft, i'm pro freedom/choice. I want to be able to view websites using any program i wish on any device that i wish, the web was designed to be accessible to all and this goes totally against that principle. I was equally frustrated when netscape 1.x came around and implemented all kinds of propriatory extensions which weren't in the proper html specs, i thus avoided netscape on principle and definately won't stop doing so now.
        • You are SO anti-american
          Freedom of choice is just a hippy concept
        • by leonbev ( 111395 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @10:33AM (#12577928) Journal
          That's good for you, but 99% of the population doesn't think like that. Joe Sixpack doesn't even know what html standards are, let alone care if they are implimented properly in the browser or the web site that he's using. All he wants is to be able to do things like upload and print his digital photos on Walmart's picture site, pay his bills with Wachovia's BillPay application, and listen to some streaming music on LaunchCast.

          I chose those three sites for a reason, because ALL THREE of them have problems with when used with Firefox. Having a "render in IE" option will come in handy for sites like these, because good ol' Joe is going to be pissed at you if you tell him that he can't use those sites anymore with his new web browser.
          • But will that actually fix it? There are some sites that just render badly, but when we talk about sites that are IE-only, we're almost always talking about more than just overlapped paragraphs and user agent string detection.

            Will it use IE's javascript engine? IE's DOM? Without those, I know of a few sites that won't work , regardless of how the pixels are rendered.
    • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:46AM (#12576791)
      I love comemnts like these. One of the values of Open Source is choice but as soon as a decent Open Source version of something comes along suddenly theres no need for anything else. Choice is still good which is why I want to to see Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Konq, Safari and even IE compete to build something better.
    • It will be nice being able to test your web pages with just one browser.
    • We don't but Netscape dialup customers are likely to install it.
  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:40AM (#12576729)
    includes Trust Rating
    Well... and why exactly should I trust AOL Time Warner?
    • I wonder what the Trust Rating of that spyware/adware/malware download site would be.
    • Re:Trusting trust (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jonadab ( 583620 )
      > Well... and why exactly should I trust AOL Time Warner?

      Depends what you're trusting them to do. The question you want to ask is not "Do I trust them to always to the right thing in every circumstance?" but rather "Do I trust them to objectively evaluate whether any given website is dangerous (from an IT security perspective) or benign?" Maybe you do and maybe you don't (I'm not convinced I do), but it's a simpler question than the overbroad "Do I trust them?" and, on the whole, more likely to be ans
  • by MarkEst1973 ( 769601 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:41AM (#12576738)
    My wife works at the EPA where they have an IMB/LotusNotes/Netscape solution on all desktops. She's running Netscape 7, I believe.

    I, personally, question the time and money required to put out a new version of Netscape when there's a perfectly kickass Firefox to use, but my opinion is moot. There's still a market for Netscape, albeit a small one.

    • Well asl ong as the folks who put it out think its worth it It will happen. I'm quite happy with firefox, but its always nice to have a few more choices.
    • Please see my response to this post [] ... People stick to what they know and Netscape is a lot more well known than Firefox. If we want to put a dent in the number of IE users and thus make the web a better place for everyone, we need something that people are familiar and comfortable with as well as something that has backing by a major company such as AOL. This is especially true in the case of PHBs. Also, it's pretty damn cool that it can load pages using the IE rendering engine. I wonder if this includes
      • I really wonder about the legality of this. I could make a browser in about 7 seconds, In VB, using the IE rendering engine. I could probably make an access clone in about 7 minutes using MDAC. I think MS is going to have some major problem with this.
        • AOL settled a antitrust lawsuit with Microsoft that gave them a bunch of cash and the explicit right to repackage IE.

          And a lot of people have made IE-shell browsers, MS provided the system libs and can't stop you from using them. (Using the JET redistributables to make an Access clone is a no-no, I think.)
  • by c0ldfusi0n ( 736058 ) <> on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:42AM (#12576744) Homepage

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    • In the weird Alice-in-Wonderland AOL/Netscape world, a browser is defined as anything they want it to be. "Words mean only what I say they mean."

      Install the new version of Netscape, and get the security vulnerabilities of a media player and AIM client, too.
  • "Netscape Navigator Version 8 has been released" ... "[T]he 'Download Now' page is already serving up the new browser."

    really? Both? At the same time?

  • by bmw ( 115903 ) * on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:42AM (#12576746)
    The linked article and the official Netscape 8 page are pretty light on technical details but the submitter mentions it is based on firefox 1.0.3. What I'm wondering is whether or not this includes the recent security fixes that brought about the release of 1.0.4. Would be pretty foolish of AOL to not include these since they are considered critical.

    I also found the following line from the CNET review pretty amusing.

    Netscape 8 is based on's successful and mostly secure Firefox browser

    Certainly not a false statement or anything but I thought the use of the phrase "mostly secure" was pretty funny. :-)

    Anyone else get a 404 on the Trust Rating page?
    • Ahh, yes.. "Mostly Secure"

      I've sent a report to Mozilla concerning what may be yet another exploit. As mentioned before in previous comments (Recently in the FF vs Opera story) I am now 100% sure that there is still a security hole in Firefox that is allowing pop-ups, pop-unders, and SOMEHOW is allowing Spyware to get in on one's machine. It's been narrowed down to either Flash, or an exploit in how FF renders HTML. I've been getting calls recently from people whose computers I've repaired, or reinstalled
    • Certainly not a false statement or anything but I thought the use of the phrase "mostly secure" was pretty funny. :-)

      It's safe against those "mostly harmless" attacks. ;-)
  • Just start IE if you need.
  • rating system? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hell O'World ( 88678 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:42AM (#12576751)
    From article: site rating system called "Trust Ratings" which is driven by lists of sites provided by our trusted security partners.
    Who are these "trusted security partners" and why should I trust them?
  • Useful feature... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:42AM (#12576752)
    I have the View in IE plugin installed in Firefox, but toggling the renderer would be a very useful feature for them to add to the base product. I know its sort of blasphemy to say it, but fact is there are still useful sites (bank sites, in particular) that just puke under the Gecko renderer. Oh bank sites, and of course the Slashdot homepage ;)

    • This would stop firefox being a proper cross-platform browser, which is one of it's biggest advantages. What we need, is to get rid of ie-only sites completely, and the best way to do this is to increase the usage of non ie browsers so that website authors have to produce standards compliant sites if they dont want to alienate a significant portion of their potential customers. And, users should be alienated, rather than just capitulating and using ie, if users do that then site authors will just expect tha
    • Am I the only one who has no problems with Slashdot under Firefox?
    • This is very true. There are a lot of legacy vendor systems that are IE only, which force us to have IE installed as the base system on our computers (users can't be taught to switch browsers, nor should they). If Firefox had a toggle, especially one that could be scripted or read a flag that told it which to render in so it could switch automatically depending on what they're looking at, it would be a godsend. I could rip IE out tomorrow and replace it w/ Firefox, and then I wouldn't have to listen to v
  • Full Circle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:43AM (#12576757)
    So we have come full circle again looking at the source code on which the various browsers are based:

  • by jgionet ( 828557 )
    Now that FF is out and kicking ass I don't see any reason why anybody would want to run Netcape. It was slow loading in the past and it'll be slow forever. It's too bad really.. but I think Netscape is dead.
  • it has it's uses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:43AM (#12576764)
    I checked out the beta back when it was released. Once most of the "extra" interface features were turned off, it really wasn't too bad. Of course, since I was trying it at home, I quickly uninstalled it and went back to Firefox. However, since there are a few sites that I need to use at work that don't work all that well with Firefox (reduced feature-sets, slight wonkiness, etc), I may check this out to see if it does what I need. Being able to have one browser do it all can be quite handy...
    • Re:it has it's uses (Score:4, Informative)

      by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @10:27AM (#12577863)
      Status update: After spending my Thursday morning fiddling with Netscape and deactivating shit left and right and getting things set up in a semi-usable way, I'm going to give it a pass. It doesn't seem to want to load the Acrobat plugin, the multibar is horrendous (how the fuck do you remove some of those things from the default toolbar?), it keeps asking me to save passwords after I've told it not to ask in 3 or 4 different places in the prefs (KISS!), and on and on. Nice idea in theory, horrible execution. Not that I would expect anything different from AOL...
  • IE or Moz (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordSnooty ( 853791 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:44AM (#12576770)
    The choice of rendering engines sounds interesting, will that be a boon for web developers tired of having to flit between browsers?
    • Double-click, alt-tab, ctrl+v, enter.

      Boy, there's one area of web development that sure would be significantly improved by adding another menu option... I mean, it takes *forever* to do that now. :)
  • I don't understand (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thyamine ( 531612 ) <thyamine.ofdragons@com> on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:44AM (#12576772) Homepage Journal
    Instead of spending all this time on re-making their own browser based off of the excellent Firefox browser, why not spend that time building extensions that add in these features?

    How much time was spent duplicating efforts just so they could call it 'Netscape' instead of using that time to improve Firefox by putting out some great extensions?
    • by bmw ( 115903 ) * on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:58AM (#12576867)
      nstead of spending all this time on re-making their own browser based off of the excellent Firefox browser, why not spend that time building extensions that add in these features?

      Unfortunately a large percentage of Americans (probably the world) make their decision of what product to use based solely on brand name instead technical merit or overall quality. This is why advertising is such an important aspect of selling a product. While Firefox has had a lot of media coverage lately I think your average user still has no idea what it is, or if they do, are probably still a bit wary to switch from what they already know. This is why the Netscape brand is so important; many people know it and trust it and won't use anything else.
    • by stienman ( 51024 )
      I don't understand

      What you don't understand is called branding.

      What Netscape doesn't understand is that by putting the IE engine as an option, web sites will start making IE only websites, and say "Netscape or IE". They will then instruct the user to configure their browser to use the IE rendering engine by default, and the web will become a little less standards friendly.

  • Why the hell... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jevring ( 618916 )
    ...does netscape automatically render pages known to e "safe" with MSIE?
    I thought the whole point of not using MSIE was to NOT use it.
    I mean, when I use netscape, I want netscape, not some other substandard browser running things in the background.
    This will cause a shitstorm for developers running netscape.
  • Trust Rating (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lheal ( 86013 ) <(lheal1999) (at) (> on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:45AM (#12576782) Journal
    Too Microsofty. Yuck. TFA says they have a database of sites that are either good or bad. I hope the phishers don't learn how to use disposable domains! (What's that you say? That's what they do now?)

    But this may appeal to someone. Let's see: they have to be clueful enough to want something other than IE, and clueless enough not to want Firefox or Opera. Pretty slim pickings.

    I guess there's still something left to the Netscape name as a brand, but they're quickly killing it.
  • by syntap ( 242090 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:46AM (#12576792)
    I personally appreciate the release because the BHB's I work for all happen to like Netscape, but balk at having me install something called "FireFox" that they have never heard of. Now I can say "New Netscape version is here" and all of the sudden they are off either 4.x or the bulkier Mozilla and can now be basically on the browser I wanted them on in the first place.
    • Nope, check the description, it automatically renders sites with MSIE.
    • You are not alone, I'm now using it at work. With some toolbar customizing it looks like firefox. I'm using it so I can switch between IE and firefox engines, we have some web apps here that require IE to render properly.

      Whats neat is being able to set certain sites to always use IE and the rest to use Firefox by default, very damn handy. The only catch is it still (rightfully) identifies itself as Netscape/Mozilla.

      All we need now is for extensions to work (adblock!). I'm guessing that some already do i
  • From the flash tour:
    "If a site is considered trustworthy, Netscape automatically renders it using the Internet Explorer method, for maximum compatability."

  • Just glancing at their page, it looks like they've come up with some nice paradigms too eliminate browser clutter. 1)You can choose toolbars using a dropdown box. 2)Shortcuts can include multiple websites. For example, you can set "Home" to open multiple websites in a single click.
  • Outdated (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:56AM (#12576850) Homepage
    When visiting, I got a nice message saying that my current browser, Firefox 1.04, is out of date. They said I should download Netscape 8. Which is based on Firefox 1.03. Does anybody else see a problem with this?
    • I went there to check out what you said.
      Not only did it tell me that also, but when I finally got to the front page, I saw an ad:

      The Best of ALL Worlds
      "Netscape 8.0 browser combines Firefox & Internet Explorer and let's YOU choose your email & search engine!

      Is it just me, or is adding IE to the mix a scary thought? And how careful and meticulous can they be, really, if their advertising says "let's you?"

  • too slow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brontus3927 ( 865730 ) <> on Thursday May 19, 2005 @08:56AM (#12576857) Homepage Journal
    The problem with a corporate environment competing in a fast paced arena like browsers is they can't keep up. Netscape 8 is based on Firefox 1.0.3 but 1.0.4 is out and has fixed some well-discussed vulnerabilities. By the time Netscape could update their engine to FF 1.0.4, 1.1 will be out, possibly 1.1.2 or even later. By the time Netscape used 1.1, 1.5 is sure to be out.

    I think that's one of the biggest things Firefox has going for it. Security, extentions, stability, tabs, are all very important reasons, but Firefox is successful, because it is small. Being small, they are flexible and fast moving, able to change to meet evolving needs. Firefox will be the guerilla fighters in the upcoming browser war

  • The Trust Rating [] system is intriguing if it were carried a bit further. In conjuction with a built-in malware detector, every Netscape user could be feeding information to the Trust Rating DB. If a popular site is hijacked or infected, then as soon as one Netscape user accesses it, the system would detect the attempted malware activites, alert the Trust Rating system, and alert all subsequent users. The result is an internet immune system based on distributed detection.

    I wonder if the ultimate version
  • by xmas2003 ( 739875 ) * on Thursday May 19, 2005 @09:16AM (#12577002) Homepage
    People sometimes wonder if the /. editors even look at the submitted articles ... and I can say in this case that is definitely true. What I originally submitted late last night was "The Main Netscape 8 page [] has more info, although the "Download Now" page [] currently says "Netscape Browser 8.0 is Coming Soon!" so kudo's to Zonk who actually checked the link and modified the posting appropriately.

    BTW, the first sentance was originally "The Wall Street Journal [] is reporting that AOL will release Netscape 8.0 [] - also being reported at BetaNews [] and a growing number of sites. []" ... but he changed that to CNet which has the 5 page review ... the Firefox 1.03 reference is from BetaNews.

    Finally, I had added this closing statement/question "While Netscape was the dominant browser years ago, it has faded dramatically ... does this release have significant enough features such that end-users will give it another try? Time will tell." ... and I personally think it's a bit too little too late - Firefox works darn well for me, and with the iview extension [], I have one-click access to IE if need be. But the browser wars are far from over as IE7 appears to be copying many of Firefox's features, plus Opera and Safari continue to get good press ... so time will tell!

  • *shakes head* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rathehun ( 818491 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @09:17AM (#12577027) Homepage
    Until it stops breaking every interface rule in the book, uses something other than orange and green as it's default look, I'm not going to download a 12 mb file for fun.

    While I understand that this is not targeted at the same demographic that downloads Firefox, couldn't they have included something to add some value for us?

    If they had packaged in some FF extensions, at least a choice of themes...then maybe.

    View using the IE rendering engine? Thanks a lot.


  • The source code to the "IE integration" (so it can be used in gecko based browsers that DONT have all the AOL garbage)
    And more to the point, the list of sites and pages and stuff that are set to "automatically trigger the IE mode"
  • by Sporkinum ( 655143 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @09:51AM (#12577362)
    Tried slapping it on the computer at work . Only uses a stub installer and no option for a full installer. When you try to run it, it pops a dialog saying Internet connectivity trouble and prompts you for your proxy information. No problem with that. I enter the info, and then I get a dialog saying Configuration Error, Your installer has an invalid configuration.

  • (lack of) Privacy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kainaw ( 676073 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @09:55AM (#12577398) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure someone already saw this and posted it, but I just noticed it...

    4. PRIVACY.

    (a) AUTOMATIC FEEDBACK. You agree that the Browser may periodically check your computer system for, and report back, without additional notice to you, information relating to your use of the Browser, including, for example, information relating to the frequency of your use of the Browser, your Browser configuration settings, and information on computer errors, malfunctions or other abnormalities occurring during your use of the Browser. The Netscape Browser team may use the information for such purposes as diagnosing performance issues with the Browser, improving the reliability of the download and install process, and improving its products and services to users generally. This information will not be tied to any information that would identify you personally.

    (b) BROWSER ID. The Browser contains a specific identification number for the purpose of tracking the number of unique instances of the Browser in use. This number is not associated with any information about you, or that would personally identify you.
    • Re:(lack of) Privacy (Score:3, Informative)

      by vena ( 318873 )
      FWIW, they make it pretty clear in the installer that they're doing this and give you the option to turn it off with a single check box.
  • Netscape 8.0 also includes a toggle which allows switching between Mozilla and Microsoft's rendering engines as needed.

    Why would anybody need or want to use a less functional renderer?

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"