Netscape is stepping up its bid for the corporate market with its release of Netscape 7.0, the latest version of its browser.
The new browser comes at a time when analysts believe the company, with the backing of its AOL Time Warner parent, is set to challenge Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer browser.
The beta of the new browser was released yesterday, with plans for a full release in the summer.
The new 7.0 release has a number of features specifically aimed at winning greater support for the browser in the enterprise.
These include S/Mime to enable secure encrypted email as well as full Ldap support and the ability to share mail folders using the Internet Message Access Protocol (Imap).
With its last release, version 6.0, Netscape by-passed its corporate user base; the bulk of corporate Netscape users continued using iterations of its Netscape 4.x browser first released in 1997.
Despite the play for the corporate market, Netscape maintains 7.0 is primarily targeted at consumers.
It includes a range of new functions aimed at making internet use quicker and easier.
The most prominent addition is what the company calls "tabbed browsing". This allows users to keep track of a number of sites as tabbed pages in a single browser window that they can then click between.
Tabbed browsing has proven to be a popular feature with the open source browser Mozilla, the development of which was initiated by Netscape.
Netscape 7.0 also has Click-to-Search, a function that allows users to carry out web searches for words or phrases within text as well as customisation for both Netscape mail and AOL's instant messenger program, AIM.
AOL's additional support could prove essential for Netscape. AOL recently began testing a Gecko-powered browser with the potential of replacing Internet Explorer as the default browser for its users. Netscape 7.0 also uses the same Gecko kernel.
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