Early test versions of the new browser--so-called alpha and beta releases--have been available since February. Netscape has promised that the final version, like the previous ones, will include features to better safeguard systems while people surf the Web. Netscape 8 is also expected to have a cleaner look and feel, but not to be dramatically different from the public beta released in March.
A representative for Netscape, a division of media giant Time Warner's America Online subsidiary, declined to confirm the launch plans, which leaves it open to being pushed back.
With the release, Netscape is challenging Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer Web browser, which has been the subject of many security vulnerabilities. Also, Netscape hopes to piggyback on the success of Firefox, the open-source Web browser that was released in November and has been downloaded nearly 57 million times.
In the most recent test version, the Netscape 8 browser automatically adjusts security settings based on a list of known malicious Web sites to protect users from phishing scams. The blacklist of Web sites that are suspected of hosting spyware or phishing schemes will be updated regularly, Netscape has said.
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