Hoping to be first to market with a push technology-enabled browser, Netscape has unveiled Netcaster, a new component for Communicator that will enable the delivery of dynamic content to desktops.
The company has pulled the wraps off the product months earlier than originally planned in an effort to put pressure on arch-rival Microsoft, which submitted a proposed push technology standard to the World Wide Web consortium earlier this year. It hopes to incorporate this technology in upcoming versions of Internet Explorer 4.0.
Formerly codenamed Constellation, Netscape?s Netcaster component allows both enterprise users and individuals to subscribe to and receive 'channels' of dynamic Web content, customised and pushed out to their desktops without them needing to search Web sites. Using a special Webtop feature users will be able to create personalised desktop environments where local applications, channels of pushed content and Web sites can be blended together. The software also allows users to view Web sites and channels offline and select from a listing of pre-chosen information and entertainment channels, which they can tune into like a television.
Netscape was hoping to steal a march on Microsoft by making Netcaster available in the first version of Communicator, originally expected to ship this quarter. But talk of a fifth preview release of the browser means that the first public version is not likely to be shipped until well into the third quarter.
?There will probably be at least one more beta,? confirmed Mike McCue, director for advanced technology at Netscape.
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