October 3, 2005 10:57 AM PDT

HP to ship Netscape browser on new PCs

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

update In a move that harks back to the browser wars, Hewlett-Packard plans to ship Netscape's Web browser on new consumer PCs and notebooks starting early next year.

The agreement, announced Monday, is the first browser distribution deal with a major PC maker since the end of the browser wars in the 1990s, according to Netscape, a division of Time Warner's America Online subsidiary. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The company in May released Netscape 8, a browser with features to protect users against online scams.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer is by far the most-used Web browser, but smaller players have been pecking at its market share. Mozilla's open-source Firefox browser has a loyal following. Opera Software is also making noise, announcing Sept. 20 that it will strip the ads out of the free version of its browser.

As part of the HP deal, consumers will be able to choose Netscape as their default browser during computer setup, a Netscape representative said Monday. Icons for the browser, which will be customized with links to HP and Compaq Web sites, will appear in the Windows Start menu.

The Netscape browser was once ubiquitous, but it was marginalized after Microsoft introduced IE in the mid-1990s. The acquisition of Netscape by Microsoft rival AOL and a lengthy antitrust trial did not help change the browser's fortune.

However, several high-profile security vulnerabilities in IE last year, as well as a lack of new features in the browser, provided some opportunity for Microsoft's rivals to make gains. Netscape and Mozilla have touted security as the No. 1 selling point for their browsers. Microsoft has responded with plans for an IE update due next year.

Netscape 8 includes features to protect users against online threats such as phishing and spyware. The browser automatically adjusts security settings while people surf, based on lists of Web sites that are known to be malicious or trusted. Phishing scams typically combine spam e-mail with fraudulent Web sites to trick users into giving up sensitive information such as user names, passwords and credit card numbers.

Netscape 8 is based on Firefox, but lets users switch between both the Firefox and IE browser engines. Many Web sites have been built to work with IE, so supporting both the Firefox and IE engines maximizes compatibility.

"We specifically chose the Netscape browser because it has the added advantage of hosting numerous security features while also having the ability to run both the Trident (IE) and Gecko (Firefox) rendering engines," Nick Labosky, a director at HP, said in a statement sent via e-mail.

HP will ship Netscape in the U.S. and Canada. The company is evaluating browser plans for other regions, Labosky said. "HP believes in giving the customer choice," he said. "This decision is reflective of the momentum of users in the marketplace who are choosing to have more than one browser on their desktop."

Microsoft's browser still dominates in terms of usage. In September, Microsoft held 86.87 percent of the U.S. browser market, Firefox garnered 7.55 percent, and Netscape stood at 2.16 percent, according to data from analytics firm Net Applications.

 

Correction: This story incorrectly identified Internet Explorer's rendering engine.

44 comments

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Down with IE
I hate IE. Never liked it ... Netscape was good for me back in the
90s.

Safari is great, but still has a few flaws. Once that gets polished,
Apple should cross platform that bad-boy.
Posted by NeverFade (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Netscape browser of the 90's stank
It is/was so buggy that it made IE look like a paragon of stability and security. The only reason you'd have liked it would be because you didn't know that much about it.

Fortunately the Netscape browser of today bears only the name as a resemblance. Still I prefer Firefox, Netscape as a brand is a turn-off for me.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Down with IE
I hate IE. Never liked it ... Netscape was good for me back in the
90s.

Safari is great, but still has a few flaws. Once that gets polished,
Apple should cross platform that bad-boy.
Posted by NeverFade (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Netscape browser of the 90's stank
It is/was so buggy that it made IE look like a paragon of stability and security. The only reason you'd have liked it would be because you didn't know that much about it.

Fortunately the Netscape browser of today bears only the name as a resemblance. Still I prefer Firefox, Netscape as a brand is a turn-off for me.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
This might turn people off
My brief experience with Netscape 8 was a screaming horror, for the reason that the preferences of the IE core are not configured at all within Netscape, but have to be configued using the Windows Internet Options dialog. I.e., you have to do all the settings twice. Dual-core browsers may have a future, but not when they're just slapped together like Netscape's.
Posted by (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This might turn people off
My brief experience with Netscape 8 was a screaming horror, for the reason that the preferences of the IE core are not configured at all within Netscape, but have to be configued using the Windows Internet Options dialog. I.e., you have to do all the settings twice. Dual-core browsers may have a future, but not when they're just slapped together like Netscape's.
Posted by (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Netscape, eww
No thanks.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Netscape, eww
No thanks.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go with Firefox...
Netscape's new browser is very user-friendy and hands down the best looking. It has great features that no other browser has even come close to exceding. Explorer is way behind the times and their add-on toolbar is annoyingly unsufficeint. Still, I have found Netscape does have a few compatability issues, causing me to stick with Mozilla Firefox!
Posted by ryeharris (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go with Firefox...
Netscape's new browser is very user-friendy and hands down the best looking. It has great features that no other browser has even come close to exceding. Explorer is way behind the times and their add-on toolbar is annoyingly unsufficeint. Still, I have found Netscape does have a few compatability issues, causing me to stick with Mozilla Firefox!
Posted by ryeharris (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go with Firefox...
Netscape's new browser is very user-friendly and hands down the best looking. It has great features that no other browser has even come close to exceeding. Explorer is way behind the times and their add-on toolbar is annoyingly insufficient. Still, I have found Netscape does have a few compatibility issues, causing me to stick with Mozilla Firefox!
Posted by ryeharris (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox
when you load firefox, does anything stored in IE get wiped out? like favorites, mail folders, address book, or mail in your inbox.
Posted by rapidfir (3 comments )
Link Flag
Go with Firefox...
Netscape's new browser is very user-friendly and hands down the best looking. It has great features that no other browser has even come close to exceeding. Explorer is way behind the times and their add-on toolbar is annoyingly insufficient. Still, I have found Netscape does have a few compatibility issues, causing me to stick with Mozilla Firefox!
Posted by ryeharris (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox
when you load firefox, does anything stored in IE get wiped out? like favorites, mail folders, address book, or mail in your inbox.
Posted by rapidfir (3 comments )
Link Flag
This isn't a new thing...
I bought my Compaq PC 3 years ago and it came with Netscape 6 included. My favorite Netscape was 7, 8 is a joke. They should have went with Firefox or Opera instead.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This isn't a new thing...
I bought my Compaq PC 3 years ago and it came with Netscape 6 included. My favorite Netscape was 7, 8 is a joke. They should have went with Firefox or Opera instead.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wasted Space
The moment the end user attempts to run Windows Update, Internet Explorer pops up and asks "would you like to make IE your default browser"? User says YES.

Waste of time and drive space for them to bother spooling it onto these systems.
Posted by googlesaurus (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wasted Space
The moment the end user attempts to run Windows Update, Internet Explorer pops up and asks "would you like to make IE your default browser"? User says YES.

Waste of time and drive space for them to bother spooling it onto these systems.
Posted by googlesaurus (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wasted Space
The moment the end user attempts to run Windows Update, Internet Explorer pops up and asks "would you like to make IE your default browser"? User says YES.

Waste of time and drive space for them to bother spooling it onto these systems.
Posted by googlesaurus (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wasted time..
.. making us read your inaccurate/disingenous comment twice.

The Windows update site doesn't make IE pop up and ask to be the default browser.

Result: FUD busted!

What it does do is say that it is checking to see if your computer has the latest version of windows updating software for use with the site and then warns you that it is going to try to run ActiveX controls on your poor unsuspecting system.

When running Netscape 8 after a few minutes it says there is a problem displaying the page. It then advises you to refresh the page or delete your Temporary Internet Files like it used to do back in the early IE 4.x days. Unfortunately the instructions that it gives you for deleting the temp files is for IE, not for Netscape 8.

Refreshing the page runs the same drill again.

Not a very helpful website considering that the OS is desperately in need of patches if you have just installed it.

Or if a[nother] new severe vulnerability has just been announced.

It's good to know in advance that they don't want to help me though. I'll just download the service packs and patches with whatever browser I want off of a server on my network.

When you hear the sound of my voice you will return to full wakefullness. Since this is a text based comment page that will be never...
Posted by Lynn_S (52 comments )
Link Flag
IE?
The worse thing to this rat about IE is that you just can't kill the thing. I set browser traps and it just eats the cheese and keeps on coming.

I've tried deleting it, and a minute later its back. I've tried ripping the insides out of the Exe file and it comes right back like new. Its a monster that eat us guys right up.

As far as I'm concerned, IE is the worse browser on the Internet. I use Firefox. Or any other, for that matter. The only time I see IE is when it pops up unwanted ads, by the hundreds.

Just let me start looking at Skunk porno with my Firefox and, BAM, hundreds of ads pop up on the resurrected IE. Jeeze. The only good thing is that the ads are all blank. I can keep IE from accessing the Internet.

Oscar Rat
Posted by Oscar Rat (54 comments )
Link Flag
hmm
I wonder if HP can change IE to not pop that message up...
Posted by Lance_Davis (2 comments )
Link Flag
Wasted Space
The moment the end user attempts to run Windows Update, Internet Explorer pops up and asks "would you like to make IE your default browser"? User says YES.

Waste of time and drive space for them to bother spooling it onto these systems.
Posted by googlesaurus (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wasted time..
.. making us read your inaccurate/disingenous comment twice.

The Windows update site doesn't make IE pop up and ask to be the default browser.

Result: FUD busted!

What it does do is say that it is checking to see if your computer has the latest version of windows updating software for use with the site and then warns you that it is going to try to run ActiveX controls on your poor unsuspecting system.

When running Netscape 8 after a few minutes it says there is a problem displaying the page. It then advises you to refresh the page or delete your Temporary Internet Files like it used to do back in the early IE 4.x days. Unfortunately the instructions that it gives you for deleting the temp files is for IE, not for Netscape 8.

Refreshing the page runs the same drill again.

Not a very helpful website considering that the OS is desperately in need of patches if you have just installed it.

Or if a[nother] new severe vulnerability has just been announced.

It's good to know in advance that they don't want to help me though. I'll just download the service packs and patches with whatever browser I want off of a server on my network.

When you hear the sound of my voice you will return to full wakefullness. Since this is a text based comment page that will be never...
Posted by Lynn_S (52 comments )
Link Flag
IE?
The worse thing to this rat about IE is that you just can't kill the thing. I set browser traps and it just eats the cheese and keeps on coming.

I've tried deleting it, and a minute later its back. I've tried ripping the insides out of the Exe file and it comes right back like new. Its a monster that eat us guys right up.

As far as I'm concerned, IE is the worse browser on the Internet. I use Firefox. Or any other, for that matter. The only time I see IE is when it pops up unwanted ads, by the hundreds.

Just let me start looking at Skunk porno with my Firefox and, BAM, hundreds of ads pop up on the resurrected IE. Jeeze. The only good thing is that the ads are all blank. I can keep IE from accessing the Internet.

Oscar Rat
Posted by Oscar Rat (54 comments )
Link Flag
hmm
I wonder if HP can change IE to not pop that message up...
Posted by Lance_Davis (2 comments )
Link Flag
BIG news...IE takes it in the shorts!
At last proof that the whole Microsoft anti-trust suit wasn't a damn waste of time. Before that case, a PC manufacturer wouldn't have DREAMED of doing something like this. And it will take this kind of out-of-the-box configuration option to get folks away from using the gaping security hole that is IE. I too would have preferred they choose Firefox, but Netscape still has something that Firefox lacks: an integrated e-mail client. Yeah, some folks may still choose to run Outlook Express, but for the n00bs, who'll just use whatever the default choices are, they'll not only get a great, secure web browser, but an e-mail client of the same caliber. This is a big win for the neophyte/casual comptuer consumer and, in the fullness of time, everyone who wants a more secure and less hazardous 'Net.
Posted by DarkHawke (999 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BIG news...IE takes it in the shorts!
At last proof that the whole Microsoft anti-trust suit wasn't a damn waste of time. Before that case, a PC manufacturer wouldn't have DREAMED of doing something like this. And it will take this kind of out-of-the-box configuration option to get folks away from using the gaping security hole that is IE. I too would have preferred they choose Firefox, but Netscape still has something that Firefox lacks: an integrated e-mail client. Yeah, some folks may still choose to run Outlook Express, but for the n00bs, who'll just use whatever the default choices are, they'll not only get a great, secure web browser, but an e-mail client of the same caliber. This is a big win for the neophyte/casual comptuer consumer and, in the fullness of time, everyone who wants a more secure and less hazardous 'Net.
Posted by DarkHawke (999 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera is now FREE!!!
Opera is now FREE!!!
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera is now FREE!!!
Opera is now FREE!!!
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
wow
hp is installing freely available software on their computers, brilliant. its only going to serve to confuse already befuddled users and turn them off of alternative browsers altogether. But i guess it is a first step in the "wean from Microsoft" movement.
Posted by agent V (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Non-installed software is non-confusing?
So, people will only understand a freely available piece of software if they download it and install it themselves?

Did you download and install Windows and that's how you came to understand this point so well and become an expert user? Lucky your operating system didn't come pre-installed or you might be one of those befuddled users, huh?
Posted by Lynn_S (52 comments )
Link Flag
wow
hp is installing freely available software on their computers, brilliant. its only going to serve to confuse already befuddled users and turn them off of alternative browsers altogether. But i guess it is a first step in the "wean from Microsoft" movement.
Posted by agent V (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Non-installed software is non-confusing?
So, people will only understand a freely available piece of software if they download it and install it themselves?

Did you download and install Windows and that's how you came to understand this point so well and become an expert user? Lucky your operating system didn't come pre-installed or you might be one of those befuddled users, huh?
Posted by Lynn_S (52 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah right!
Keep one thing in mind with this story, it is all fine, nobody EVER said you had to use IE, and you have always been able to use any browser you felt like downloading and installing, but one thing to keep in mind, 90% of the people reading this today are doing so on Internet Explorer. Just remember, nobody ever forced you to do it, you chose to.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You're missing the point.
Sad though it may be, most folks who buy PCs either aren't savvy enough to want to change browsers or are confused enough by their machines and don't want the hassle. So they take the course of least resistance, whatever's on the desktop or set as the default on the machine. In simple terms, folks is lazy, and that laziness is costly for all of us, in terms of the perpetuation of viruses, spyware and the spam that easily hijacked 'puters pump out all over the world.

Now if you give the lazy a different default, a browser & mail client that are inherently less vulnerable to attack, and thus make their computers less vulnerable to being either besieged or taken over, the computing world is suddenly a better place. Not that just one manufacturer giving folks the [i]option[/i] to get Netscape instead of IE is by itself going to do the job, but like all great groundswells, it's gotta start somewhere.
Posted by DarkHawke (999 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah right!
Keep one thing in mind with this story, it is all fine, nobody EVER said you had to use IE, and you have always been able to use any browser you felt like downloading and installing, but one thing to keep in mind, 90% of the people reading this today are doing so on Internet Explorer. Just remember, nobody ever forced you to do it, you chose to.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You're missing the point.
Sad though it may be, most folks who buy PCs either aren't savvy enough to want to change browsers or are confused enough by their machines and don't want the hassle. So they take the course of least resistance, whatever's on the desktop or set as the default on the machine. In simple terms, folks is lazy, and that laziness is costly for all of us, in terms of the perpetuation of viruses, spyware and the spam that easily hijacked 'puters pump out all over the world.

Now if you give the lazy a different default, a browser & mail client that are inherently less vulnerable to attack, and thus make their computers less vulnerable to being either besieged or taken over, the computing world is suddenly a better place. Not that just one manufacturer giving folks the [i]option[/i] to get Netscape instead of IE is by itself going to do the job, but like all great groundswells, it's gotta start somewhere.
Posted by DarkHawke (999 comments )
Link Flag
BEWARE Netscapes EULA - SPYWARE!
For those who never take the time to read EULA's (who does), this latest one from Netscape in their latest browser makes for very intersting reading ...

While I don't have it in front of me any longer, at last glance (prior to aborting the install), it stated something to the effect that you (the user) grant that 'Netscape has the right to MONITOR online user activity'!

:-|

Read it for yourselves!
IMHO, Netscape is now Corporate SPYWARE !!!

Go Firefox!
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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