From 2006, buyers of consumer desktop and notebook PCs with the HP and Compaq labels will be able to choose Netscape 8 as the default browser during set-up.
Nick Labosky, a director at HP, said: "By including Netscape 8.0 on our PCs, HP is providing a more secure computing experience via the browser's cutting-edge security features and other functionality that make being online safer for our customers."
Due to a slew of security concerns with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, some experts have welcomed the move.
"HP's move shows that consumer concerns about IE security have hit the mainstream. In a new twist on the browser wars, IE will no longer reign alone. Instead, many users will opt to have two or more browsers to address security concerns," said Deri Jones, chief executive at web testing firm SciVisum.
"HP is hoping that its Netscape proposal will be attractive to the 'semi-savvy' users who have read about IE concerns but have not had the confidence to try other browsers, or who found it a nuisance to have two browsers.
"It will be interesting to see whether HP is also thinking about bundling other open source products on its PCs. There would be a clear marketing opportunity to the first vendor that bundles OpenOffice with all their PCs, giving customers a perceived value of the Microsoft Office suite at zero cost.
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