AOL Replaces IE with Netscape in New Beta
After almost a year of delays, AOL has taken the much anticipated first step to make Netscape's Gecko the default browsing engine in its client, a move that could breathe new life into the now stagnant browser war.After almost a year of delays, AOL has taken the much anticipated first step to make Netscapes Gecko the default browsing engine in its client, a move that could breathe new life into the now stagnant browser war. As first revealed by BetaNews, AOL began developing the browser agnostic technology dubbed Komodo last year after an agreement with Microsoft sanctioning the use of Internet Explorer expired. The company has been testing Komodo with its CompuServe client since that time, but only this week made the switch in a test version of AOL, dubbed "Talon." "The software used in this test is based on the most recent version of AOL 7.0 with Netscape Gecko as its internal browser," AOL beta coordinators wrote in an e-mail to testers. "Netscape Gecko is an embeddable browser designed to support open Internet standards, and is used for products like Netscape 6.2 and Instant AOL. This Beta tests the functionality of the AOL 7.0 software with Netscape Gecko." AOL had originally planned to implement Komodo into AOL 7.0, which debuted last October, but encountered stability problems when used with Gecko. Internal documents viewed by BetaNews at the time stated "Komodo has not had a successful build for several weeks," citing "weeks of backlogged bugs and little to no QA."
witching to Gecko has proved an enormous task for the media giant. Not only must AOL ensure compatibility with its own software that is heavily based on HTML-derived forms, but it also must be sure customers will have a similar browsing experience using the new engine - or face a multitude of support complaints.