RealTime IT News

Netscape Announces Communicator Upgrades

Netscape Communications Corp. today unveiled a range of enhancements for Netscape Communicator 4.5, the newest edition of its client software featuring product enhancements such as "Smart Browsing" and "Pinpoint Addressing."

A beta version of Netscape Communicator 4.5 for Windows, Macintosh and Unix environments is slated to become available on Netcenter next month.

The SmartBrowsing feature, first announced two weeks ago in relation to Netscape Netcenter 2.0, enables users to locate information on the Internet through the incorporation of three functions: Internet Keywords, What's Related and NetWatch.

Keywords can take the place of URLs; users can type words into the Navigator location bar, instead of URLs, linking them to Web sites. The What's Related feature gives users a dynamically generated list of links, furnishing company information, services and products related to the visited site.

NetWatch acts as an Internet censor, screening online content based upon PICS-compliant rating systems, RSACi and SafeSurf and their established standards.

Communicator 4.5's Netscape Messenger integrates a new three pane interface and several usability upgrades and performance enhancements. For example, messages are better managed since mail folders and newsgroups are located in a third folder pane.

In addition, the Pinpoint Addressing feature combines addresses in separate address books or corporate directories. Also, Netscape Messenger enables both enterprises and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide an IMAP and LDAP messaging solution, so that a user can, for example, expect quicker performance with slow links, folder sharing, and multiple address books.

Another new Netscape Communicator 4.5 addition provides roaming support for laptops, PDAs and multiple machine users so that individualized Communicator information can be accessed at work, on the road or from home.

Other features in Netscape's Communicator 4.5 include the Navigator Web browser, Netscape Messenger for open email, Web-based word processor Netscape Composer, Netscape Calendar for enterprise group scheduling and AOL Instant Messenger enabling real-time chat.

Netscape Mission Control Desktop allows enterprises to configure, manage and update Communicator. The Netscape Client Customization Kit also lets ISPs and OEMs customize and brand Communicator.

"At Netscape, our vision is to best enable people to live and work on the Net; Netscape Communicator 4.5 pioneers this effort by introducing new integration features built into the browser," said Bob Lisbonne, senior vice president of client products at Netscape.

"With Netscape's current installed base of 70 million clients, innovations like Smart Browsing, Pinpoint Addressing and Roaming Access all exploit the power of the network, and illustrate the exciting direction Netscape is leading our customers and the entire Net community."