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Navigator 4.0 bells and whistles will be hardwired

Netscape's plans to compete with the groupware features of Lotus, Novell and Microsoft could leave existing users of its Navigator client out in the cold.

At yesterday's London launch, the company's VP of technology Marc Andreessen confirmed that customers would not have the option of a browser-only version of Navigator 4.0. Instead, users would have to remain with Navigator 3.0, earlier versions, or upgrade to the full Communicator suite.

However, sources at Netscape suggest that after the full release of Communicator, the browser component will be distributed freely in an attempt to attract new users.

PCDN Comment: This is a must for Netscape. At the heart of Communicator is Netscape's transition to a server software company. However, with competitors like Microsoft and Lotus, it can't afford to leave the millions of trial users without an obvious upgrade path.