Netscape has previewed a new component of its Communicator software, code-named Constellation. This is a new desktop environment and takes Netscape into the realms of desktop interface design where it will compete with the likes of Microsoft and Apple.
Constellation will be released in the first half of next year and will be integrated with the company's Communicator products, the next major release of the Navigator browser range. This includes Messenger, Composer, Collabra, Conference and Netscape Navigator 4.0.
Constellation offers a unified environment that delivers Internet information straight to the users desktop. It uses industry standards such as HTML and Java. The product is aimed at corporate intranets as well as single Internet users.
Constellation has one benefit over other graphical user interfaces in that it can sit on top of disparate platforms such as Apple, UNIX and OS/2. Microsoft is to integrate its browser and desktop interface products in the next release of Windows and Internet Explorer expected next year.