Mozilla 1.6 Gets Better for Business

 
 
By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2004-02-02
 
 
 

Mozilla 1.6 Gets Better for Business


In many ways, the new Mozilla 1.6 is a minor upgrade, making the previous 1.5 release look like a major revision.

But among the new features are some key improvements that will continue to make the free Mozilla, already the best browser available, even more attractive to businesses looking for more capabilities in their browser.

Click here to read the full review.

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In many ways, the new Mozilla 1.6 is a minor upgrade, making the previous 1.5 release look like a major revision.

See eWEEK Labs review of Mozilla 1.5.

But among the new features are some key improvements that will continue to make the free Mozilla, already the best browser available, even more attractive to businesses looking for more capabilities in their browser.

One of the biggest new features in Mozilla 1.6, which was released last month and is available at www.mozilla.org, is full support for NTLM (NT LAN Manager) authentication throughout all the platforms the browser runs on. In the previous two versions, NTLM authentication worked only on Windows systems, but in Mozilla 1.6, it also works on Mac OS X and Linux.

This is an important feature in that it makes content on NTLM-protected sites available to non-Windows users and is one less reason for companies not to consider Mozilla. In eWEEK Labs tests, we had no trouble logging in to Web content that used NTLM authentication from our Mac and Linux test systems.

In recent versions, the Mozilla Foundation has steadily improved Mozillas e-mail client, to the point where it is now a valid option for businesses. Version 1.6 continues this trend with several small-but-welcome new features. One of these is the ability to attach and view vCard contact information in e-mail messages, a must-have feature in some organizations.

Next page: Mail client is easier to use

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There are also several small usability improvements in the mail client, including the ability to define how long content stays on the mail server, the ability to more effectively manage the view in threads and the option to place the senders signature above quoted materials—useful for those who dont want their signature at the bottom of a long, quoted message.

There are almost no changes in the Mozilla 1.6 browser itself, other than under-the-hood improvements to the rendering engine and in standards support.

Probably the most significant new feature is the reintroduction of the Translate page option, which now uses the Google translator. Although this is handy for viewing in English pages composed in different languages, it doesnt provide much of an advantage over simply bookmarking the Google translator Web page. Also, in our tests, some pages that translated in other browsers failed to translate in Mozilla 1.6. The Translate feature translates to English by default and can be changed only by manually editing configuration files.

We liked the new ability to enter "about:about" in the address bar to view the available abouts (for example, about:plugins or about:config) in Mozilla. This will be most useful for those who need to find detailed information about the browser suite but cant remember the various about: options from which to do this.

While Mozilla is adding small features to the suite, we would love to see support for FTP upload. Although we could browse and download from FTP sites using Mozilla, we had to go to a command prompt, a dedicated FTP client or Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer to upload content.

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.

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