Netscape buffs home page, plans Aug. 12 Navigator release

Netscape has posted the latest beta of Navigator and revamped its home page, including a start page utility that lets users customise browsing.

Beta 6 of Navigator 3.0 adds printing and saving of documents created in JavaScript, faster window resizing, international character encoding, and the ability to quickly create wallpapered image backgrounds under Windows. Netscape plans to have the full version release on August 12, a day ahead of arch-rival Microsoft which plans an August 13 full release posting for Internet Explorer 3.0.

PowerStart is intended to allow users to find newsgroups, mail and other services they regularly use.

The JavaScript-based utility includes a real-time stock ticker applet developed by Quote.com that can update selected share prices in real time. Up to 15 FTP sites, newsgroups, E-mail addresses or other Internet sites can be kept as hotlinks. There are also new design and layout choices with 18 style templates and optional, previewable changes to images and background colours.

Such personalised services aren't new. PC Daily News publisher Ziff-Davis has its Personal View service; Internet search engine vendor Yahoo! has My Yahoo!and Apple last week launched its Personalised Internet Launcher.

Netscape has also supplemented its home page with editorial columns by co-founder Marc Andreessen and CEO Jim Barksdale, plus other articles and a user discussion group, in a broad attempt to maintain Netscape's current rate of 85 million hits a day that make it the most popular site on the Web.

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