Netscape is set to launch the latest version of its browser today, according to a blog posting by Gervase Markham, a developer with the Mozilla Foundation.
The latest Netscape 8 browser, the first to claim protection against phishing scams, has been in beta since February. Its developers promise several advantages over rival browsers including Firefox and Internet Explorer.
The new browser can be downloaded here.
This feature aims to crack down on online phishing where criminals design websites that claim to represent legitimate sites such as banks. In reality the service is used to fool web users into handing over their user names and passwords.
Netscape 8 also offers a choice between two rendering engines at the actual core of the browser. The software supports Microsoft's Internet Explorer engine as well as the Gecko engine used in pervious versions of Netscape and Firefox.
A rendering engine translates the code and formatting information of a website into a visual representation of the web page.
Although the internet is supposed to be built around standards, rendering engines tend to matter for pages using more complicated code. Some online banking sites and Microsoft's Auto Update service, for example, work only with Internet Explorer.
Netscape was once the dominating web browser with a commanding lead over Internet Explorer. But the software has dwindled to a single-digit market share in recent years.
Internet Explorer currently holds close to 88 per cent of the market, followed by Firefox at 8.45 per cent, and Netscape at 1.11 per cent, according to data released in March.
Netscape is a subsidiary of AOL, the largest ISP in the US. In addition to the free browser, the Netscape brand is used for a low-cost dial-up internet service in the US.
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