Continuing this week’s release spree, Netscape has released yet another version of the venerable Netscape Navigator.Netscape Navigator 9 Beta drops support for Internet Explorer’s rendering engine (Trident) and is now Gecko only.
As expected, it is basically Firefox bundled with a number of add-ons some already available at Mozilla Add-ons, some general additions and some specially crafted to integrate with Netscape online services, along with a stylish theme that evokes previous Netscape versions.
URL correction, the new sidebar minibrowser, an option in the File menu to restart the browser, resizable textareas, OPML support for importing/exporting web feeds and the combined stop/reload buttons are all available as Firefox extensions or simple hacks almost all of them featured and reviewed here at Mozilla Links before. Which is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact I find it a useful selection of add-ons that can really ease the way users interact with web pages.
Except for the minibrowser which I just don’t get it. If it would have kept the name Split Browser, the extension this is based on it could make more sense. I find it nice to make quick sites comparisons or move content from one to another but I wouldn’t actually browser in such a small area. Again I think it’s a matter of names.
Link Pad, another new feature is a sidebar where you can quickly drag links to. The idea is if you need them handy for a few days and don’t want to clutter your bookmarks you have this small and simple location to store them. Sounds interesting to me.
Then comes some Netscape oriented additions like the option to share a specific site via Netscape.com, a la Stumble Upon. You can also vote for sites that have already been submitted. The Friend’s Activity Sidebar, lets you see Netscape peers who are currently online.
In general I like this Netscape at least more than previous versions with its handful of integrated useful add-ons, but I still don’t want to keep that many extensions I know I won’t use. The Netscape.com stuff makes it even easier to keep it away bu at the same time makes it a no-brainer for Netscape.com users.