Despite media reports and industry pundits over the years relegating Netscape to Internet history books, AOL has restarted the browsers development. The company plans to bring back a refreshed Netscape browser based on the Mozilla Foundations Firefox, which will incorporate an enhanced user interface and several new features.
A prototype of the new Netscape will debut on November 30 to a limited number of beta testers, AOL told BetaNews.
Netscape was last updated in August to Version 7.2, which brought the browser up to date with Mozilla 1.7. But for the most part, Netscape has received little attention from AOL since the release of Version 7.0 in August 2002. The browsers market share has dropped to single digits as Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer has reigned supreme.
But Firefoxs surging popularity has breathed new life into Netscape. Although AOL could not yet comment on what to expect in the prototype, the revamped browser will likely extend Firefoxs feature set with Netscape-specific extensions and retain Netscapes traditional green user interface.
AOL announced the upcoming prototype in a message to Netscape users, even taking a swipe at Internet Explorer for its recent security woes.