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In its latest version, Netscape Navigator 7 can be downloaded for free from Netscape's Web site, also an Internet portal service. It includes most features found in an open-source Gecko-based browser Mozilla version 1.1, (1.3 is the current, latest edition) but also includes:
- Instant messaging: both AOL's Instant Messaging client and ICQ are integrated into the browser but do not connect to both networks at the same time.
- E-mail: check both your Netscape.com email and AOL e-mail from the Netscape Mail client.
- RealNetworks media player, AOL Radio@Netscape tool
- Net2Phone commercial Internet telephony
Netscape 6 and 7 and above are based on Mozilla, an open-source web browser project. However, Mozilla is not owned by anyone including Netscape or AOL. Netscape's product is intended to be smoother and more user-friendly than the developer-centered Mozilla project.
Compared to Mozilla:
- Netscape 6 and 7 are slower than Mozilla because of extra programs and tools.
- Netscape adds a variety of useless AOL icons and RealNetworks garbage to your system.
- Navigator has ceased development of version 7 and instead decided to donate money and server power to the Mozilla Foundation.
The early versions of Navigator introduced a number of important additions to what we now know on the Internet.
- Netscape 3 - in many ways the foundation of what we know as a web browser after the orignal Mosaic, Netscape 3 captured the browser market during Netscape's hey-day.
- Netscape 4 (Netscape Communicator), also a browser suite, includes a useful e-mail/news client, WYSIWYG HTML editor, and address book. A very cross-platform browser, other Operating Systems and languages can be found on the Netscape FTP. A standalone version is also available but not as maintained as Communicator. For users who
- Although Netscape 4 series is generally faster startup on older systems (Pentium 200 or slower) it has very poor standards-compliance and renders pages slower than most other browsers. Opera is advised for these systems.
- Netscape 5, largely skipped, some development was completed but otherwise, it was ignored and the code dumped in favor of a fresh rewrite (Mozilla).