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Netscape 8 Launches With Anti-Phishing Tools

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-18

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Once the preeminent web browser, Netscape fell into the background, overshadowed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

After Marc Andreessen left the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois and his $6.50 per hour job working on the Mosaic browser, he found his way to California.

There, he met Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics. They formed a startup company called Netscape, where they and a team of programmers worked to surpass the Mosaic browser created at NCSA.

Then, the World Wide Web took off, and more people picked up Internet access. The Netscape browser was the vehicle of choice for Web travelers.

That was before the dark times. Before Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer. The Redmond-based company's first two browsers were well behind Netscape. IE version 3.02 drew Microsoft even.

By the time version 4 from both companies hit the market, Netscape had begun to collapse. AOL acquired what was left of Netscape, though many of the most talented engineers had long since moved on.

Flash forward to today. Firefox, an offshoot of the Mozilla Foundation gets all the attention. IE 6 runs on most corporate and home desktops, but sees Firefox eating away at its market share. No one seems to use Netscape anymore.

Will Netscape 8 bring some users back? IE has become legendary for security holes, a reputation that helped Firefox gain market share. Then Firefox had to crank out a new version after potential "phishing" vulnerabilities were found.

Netscape 8, having been out in beta for a couple of months, won't have the cross-site scripting problems that enable phishing scams to work. The browser has some Firefox at its core, specifically the Gecko rendering engine. And Netscape's software will support the IE rendering engine as well.

That means trusted web sites will utilize the Internet Explorer engine for maximum compatibility, within Netscape. It's a long way from the browser wars now.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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