Netscape pushes out Netcaster

Netscape Communications Corp. quietly posted on its Web site the third beta version of Netcaster, the long-awaited push component of its newest browser and server package, days before its anticipated release during Internet World in Chicago next week.

Netscape Communications Corp. quietly posted on its Web site the third beta version of Netcaster, the long-awaited push component of its newest browser and server package, days before its anticipated release during Internet World in Chicago next week.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company took a minor hit in its credibility last month when it released its new flagship Communicator package sans the push component. The software automatically delivers content to a user's desktop according to predetermined preferences. Few predicted the company would suffer long-term because of the delay.

The preview version on the company's Web site is the third such test version released after bugs were discovered in an early beta of Communicator.

Netcaster is Netscape's pitch for delivering premium content countering Microsoft Corp.'s efforts to do the same with its newest release of Internet Explorer, which integrates the browser onto the desktop. The two companies, whose products are incompatible, are locked in a race to become the leading Webtop software provider and for deals with content providers.

Click here for a review of Netcaster.