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November 15, 2001
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Netscape Communicator 4.79 Browser-Suite Released

Mike Angelo -- 15 November 2001 (c)

Netscape 4.79 is out! The Netscape Communicator 4.79 browser-suite upgrade for the Linux, Unix, Macintosh, and Microsoft Windows platforms is on AOL-Time-Warner's Netscape division FTP servers (links below). Netscape 4.79 is listed on the Netscape Products Page.

The initial Netscape 6.0 browser suite was made available for public downloading on 9 November 2000, nearly twelve months ago. Then on 8 February 2001, the Netscape Division placed its Netscape 6.01 browser-suite upgrade on its FTP servers. On 8 August 2001, AOL-Time-Warner 's Netscape Division made its Netscape 6.1 browser suite availabe for downloading. And now, Netscape 6.2 is available for your scrutiny, and hopefully your Web browsing pleasure.

AOL-Time-Warner's Netscape division (NSCP) continues to develop it's older Netscape 4.x product even though it has a newer (Netscape 6.x) product which it first unveiled in April 2000. The Netscape 4.78 browser suite was made available for public downloading in August 2001, some three months ago.

According to the Netscape Communicator 4.79 Release Notes here is what's new in NS 4.79.

  • Improvements accessing subfolders under the Inbox on certain mail servers.
  • Performance improvements when accessing pages with nested tables and style sheets.
  • Win2K Only: Improved performance when using certain pages with JavaScript and document.write.
  • Mac Only: Sizing when printing problem on certain Epson printers fixed.
  • Mac Only: Composer now retains the default URL of the edited document.
  • Unix Only: You can now add multiple personal address books.
  • Improved support for dual processor machines.
  • Win2K Only: Improved Performance when contacting a server on the same machine.
  • Fixed incompatibilities which caused Communicator to quit unexpectedly while viewing certain web sites.
  • Upgrades to Components: Netscape AOL Messenger version 4.3 (Mac only)

Netscape Communicator 4.79 is based on more than three-year old code that was thrown out by the Mozilla Organization in its development of the Mozilla browser-suite and application-programming framework. The newer Netscape 6 browser-suite is based on the re-built from the ground up Mozilla code.

Nevertheless, a significant number of Netscape Communicator users appear to prefer the older Netscape 4 product to the newer Netscape 6 product. Also, Netscape 4.7x is included with many Linux distributions. So, AOL-Time-Warner's Netscape division continues to make minor updates to its older Netscape 4 product in order to accommodate its Netscape 4.7x users.

In our 30 December 2000 article, New Browser War Heats Up -- But It's Netscape vs. Netscape, we noted that "MozillaQuest Magazine is getting more hits from Netscape 4.x browsers than from Netscape 6 and other Mozilla-based browsers combined." However, we now are getting more hits from Netscape 6 and other Mozilla-based browsers taken together than we are from Netscape 4.x browsers. Our Web-server log analyses do not distinguish between the Mozilla-based Netscape 6 browser and the actual Mozilla browser.

Simply put, the Netscape Division grabs the Mozilla source code, adds its own and third party products such as Net2Phone and AIM, and then puts its own Netscape branding on the added-too and customized Mozilla-base. The Netscape Division also adds its portal and bookmark items to the Mozilla-base while customizing the underlying Mozilla browser suite. Stir all that together and voila, that's the Netscape 6.x browser suite.

If you still are using Netscape Communicator 4.x, you might want to consider upgrading to Netscape 6.2 -- the most recent edition of the newer Netscape 6 browser suite. Netscape 6 got off to a very bad start in April 2000 when AOL-Time-Warner's Netscape division released Netscape 6 Preview Release 1. It was very buggy, crash prone, and had a terrible user interface.

Starting with the first Netscape 6 preview release (Netscape 6 PR1), in April 2000 and then through the NS 6 PR 2, NS 6 PR3, Netscape 6.0 and Netscape 6.01 editions, Netscape 6.x has come under heavy criticism from the computer trade press, consumers, loyal Netscape fans, and developers.

However, the recently released Netscape 6.2 is much improved over those earlier, premature Netscape 6.x releases. It is getting a much better response from computer trade press, consumers, and loyal Netscape users. Give it a try and judge for yourself. For more information about Netscape 6.2, download links, and installation instructions, please see our articles Netscape 6.2 Browser-Suite Released and How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 -- Safely!.

You can download Netscape Communicator 4.79 for free from the Netscape FTP servers. We suggest that you download the complete install files and install Netscape 4.79 off-line. Please see our article How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 -- Safely!. for more information about that. Although that article is written for use with Netscape 6.x, much of it applies to Netscape 4.79 as well.

Here are the Netscape Communicator 4.79 download links.

For more information about the Mozilla browser-suite and downloading it, please see our recent article Mozilla Milestone 0.9.5 Browser-Suite Released.

Additional Resource

Netscape Products Page


To create your own Netscape 6 themes or to build your own customized Mozilla-based browser suite, please see: MozillaQuest the Series: Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser

For more information about Netscape 6.2 (NS 6.2), please see our article, Netscape 6.2 Browser-Suite Released.

Please see our two part series, Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars? Part I: Linux Could Be Netscape's Last Browser Battlefield and Part II: Why Are Major Linux Distributions Rejecting Netscape 6?

For more information about AOL's rejection of the Netscape browser and its plans for Gecko technology, please see our article AOL 7.0: Good News for AOL Users & Microsoft - Bad News for Netscape & Mozilla

New Browser War Heats Up -- But It's Netscape vs. Netscape


Copyright 2000, 2001 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved


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