While the browser market is still essentially a two-horse race, that is not stopping other contenders from trying to break into the game. Netscape has just released version 9.0 (beta 1) of their Navigator browser (based on core Mozilla code) which has a number of very interesting ideas in play, And Camino has just been revved to version 1.5 and uses the same Gecko rendering engine as Firefox and the same Mac keychain as Safari. To top off the buffet, version 2.0 of the Shiira browser for the Mac (from Japan) was recently released, offering up a WebKit-based alternative with a fresh UI and a unique shelf that displays thumbnails of open pages as opposed to the more typical tabs in other browsers. It's a veritable smörgåsbord of browsing options I tell you!
Netscape Navigator 9.0 features include:
- Social Integration: Navigator provides a feature that lets you share and vote for webpages that you find interesting. You can build your own network of friends and get their favorite stories in your sidebar. Sounds a lot like del.ici.ous if you ask me.
- Netscape News in the Browser (sidebar): Allows you to catch up on the latest news directly int he sidebar. You can customize the News menu to show only your interests.
- URL Correction: Navigator fixes common typing mistakes in URLs. And there's no need to type prefix or suffix data like .cmo, .ogr, or htp:// .
- Link Pad: Save interesting links for later without committing them to your bookmarks list.
- Firefox 2 Extension Compatibility: Add-ins for Firefox 2 work in Navigator 9.
- Versions for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
Camino 1.5 newness includes:
- Spell checking using OS X's built-in dictionary
- Session restore - stores all open pages in a session and offers to restore on launch following a crash... er, unexpected termination of your browsing.
- Keychain compatibilty - Camino can use the same Keychain entries as Safari.
- Full screen mode - no browser chrome to distract you.
- The latest Gecko rendering engine (1.8.1).
- Mac OS only.
Shiira hasn't actually documented what's new in a succinct list (they're working on it) and is worth a look only for the adventurous. It's a work in progress and definitely not ready to be your everyday browser.