Netscape has released the first beta of Netscape 9, based on Firefox. This release includes URL correction, compatibility with Firefox 2 extensions, a "mini browser" sidebar, and integrates Netscape.com sitemail.
For those who remember the Netscape Navigator suite, it's lost a little weight -- Navigator no longer includes mail or HTML composer components, just a souped-up Firefox build with a number of features that integrate with the Netscape.com portal.
Navigator 9 has a News menu with feeds populated by Netscape.com. You can't add your own RSS feeds to the news sources, but you can select from several dozen options provided by Netscape. It also sports integrated voting, so you can share stories on Netscape.com, or vote for stories in a Digg-like fashion if they've already been shared on that site.
Another handy feature in Netscape 9 is the Link Pad sidebar. Want to revisit a site, but don't want to clutter your bookmarks? Just drop the link to the Link Pad and come back to it later.
Netscape 9 is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Grab the release on browser.netscape.com. Netscape 8's update feature will not update the browser to Netscape 9.
What’s New in Netscape Navigator 9
- Visual Refresh
- Netscape Navigator 9's theme has been updated to save screen-space and leave more room for the websites you visit.
- URL Correction
- Navigator 9 will automatically correct common typos in URLs. For example, if you accidentally type googlecom, Navigator will fix it be to google.com. The browser will watch for nearly 30 different types of common mistakes and correct them for you (asking you to confirm, if you choose to enable confirmation).
- News Menu and Sidebar
- The latest news is built right into the browser, under the News menu. Provided by Netscape.com, you can customize the menu to only contain the news sections you want to monitor. You can also open the News sidebar to always keep an eye on what's happening.
- Link Pad
- The Link Pad is a new sidebar feature that allows you to save links/URLs that you want to visit later without cluttering your bookmarks. Just drag a link over the Link Pad status bar icon and drop it to save it in the Link Pad. By default, clicking on an item in the Link Pad will open it in the browser and remove it from the list, saving you the step of deleting it.
- News Tracker
- The Netscape Tracker sidebar lets you monitor breaking news as it happens, via Netscape.com.
- In-browser voting
- Share your opinions with the world! The icons in the Navigator address bar let you share interesting stories you find and vote on stories shared by others.
- Extension Compatibility
- Navigator 9 shares an architecture with the latest Mozilla technologies; as such, Navigator 9 will let you install extensions that are compatible with Firefox ® 2.
- Sidebar Mini Browser
- You've always been able to have bookmarks open in the sidebar, but we've improved this functionality and extended it to all links, not just bookmarks. Additionally, we've added a navigation toolbar to the sidebar for even easier split-screened browsing. Just right-click on a link and select "Open Link in Sidebar" to get started!
- Restart Netcape
- A smalll but oft-requested feature: you can now restart Navigator (and keep your current tabs intact) by selecting "Restart Navigator" from the File menu.
- Resizeable Textarea
- Drag the bottom-right corners of text fields in forms to add more typing space.
- Tab History
- Opening a link in a new tab will give the new tab the same history as the source tab for a more seamless tabbed browsing experience.
- OPML Support
- Netscape Navigator supports importing and exporting your bookmarks in OPML, a popular format for sharing lists of newsfeeds.
- By popular demand, the Netscape 7-style throbber is back. Click on it any time to visit Netscape.com.
- Combined Stop/Reload button
- To save space in your toolbar, we've combined the stop and reload buttons. Because you never need both at the same time, the toolbar will only show the relevant half of the pair.
- Friends' Activity Sidebar
- If you are a member at Netscape.com, you can keep tabs on what your friends find interesting. This sidebar lets you view your friends latest votes, comments, and story submissions.
- Sitemail Notification
- This icon will sport an exclamation point when you have new Netscape.com sitemail messages waiting for you.