HP to Include Netscape Offering on New PCs

In a potential blow to Microsoft, Netscape Communications' Netscape Internet browser will be included inside every new Hewlett-Packard and Compaq computer sold starting early next year, Netscape said last week.

In a potential blow to Microsoft, Netscape Communications Netscape Internet browser will be included inside every new Hewlett-Packard and Compaq computer sold starting early next year, Netscape said last week.

The arrangement allows for those buying new HP or Compaq consumer PCs to choose Netscape as their default Web browser and to start the Web browser using icons on the desktop or Start menu. Computers with Netscapes Web browser will debut early next year, according to a source briefed on the deal.

This is a daunting sign for Microsoft, said those with knowledge of the deal, because it signals that computer makers now recognize the growing influence and popularity of non-Microsoft browsers.