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Mozilla Releases Browser Preview

Mozilla.org this week released a preview of its latest browser which will be incorporated into the next version of Netscape's browser suite.

The group said the browser, an open source version of Netscape's Communicator 5.0, features an instant messaging tool that may compete with America Online Inc. (AOL) and Microsoft's (MSFT) messaging clients.

Netscape was bought by America Online last year for $4.2 billion.

The browser, labeled the "M12 Build," is one step below an alpha release which is generally considered to be the first version suitable for public use. The group is asking for feedback about any issues before it will label it an alpha release.

Interested developers may download the preview from the Mozilla.org site. The browser can be supported by Unix, Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

Netscape will release its own branded version of the browser independently of Mozilla, though release dates for both have not been set.