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Living Can Kill You

Firefox’s Monster: the Netscape Browser

The Netscape browser has been resurrected and the limited beta was released today. The good news: it still uses the Gecko rendering engine and is based on Firefox 0.9.3 — the final will be based on Firefox 1.0. The bad news: its interface is horrible, and has mangled everything usable and friendly about Firefox.

The most surprising development is the Netscape Browsers�s ability support ActiveX by switching to IE’s rendering engine. While this does expose the browser to similar security problems found in IE, it also means users won’t have to launch another browser to use IE-only sites.

The browser development was outsourced by AOL to a little Canadian company called Mercurial Communications. Previously, Firefox was offered to AOL. Ironically, the company rejected it.