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Images: Netscape gets behind the 8.0 ball

Netscape's new browser tries to mix the best features of Firefox and Internet Explorer in one package.

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1 of 7 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Netscape gets behind the 8.0 ball

Netscape is touting its new browser as being laden with security features. In fact, Jeremy Liew, general manager of Netscape, said that "security is the sizzle that will get people to use this new browser." Among the new tools is a system of icons that indicate whether a site is a known threat, an unknown quantity, or believed to be secure. The browser relies upon a database of 150,000 "trusted" Web sites rated by VeriSign and Truste, among other resources.

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At right is the sort of screen users will see if they attempt to visit a site that's a known security risk. If the user wants to visit the site despite its poor rating, Netscape launches Firefox, which is less vulnerable, and disables some functionality, such as cookies, for added security.

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Netscape lets the user customize his settings for individual pages--telling the browser, for example, to remember that he trusts a particular site. The user can also select Firefox or Internet Explorer as a backup browser, in case the site doesn't render properly in Netscape.

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Not all of the enhancements are security related. In a nod to the many choices surfers have for search, the Netscape toolbar offers a field that lets people enter a search term, then choose which search engine they want to use.

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The Netscape toolbar tells a user automatically whether an RSS feed is available from the site he or she is visiting. The surfer can then click the RSS icon to add the feed to the browser toolbar.

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Netscape 8 allows for tabbed browing. A user can also set more than one home page, then access the various home pages with the system of tabs.

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The browser also lets people save their passwords for sites that require logging in.

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