AOL releases Netscape 6 PR 2

America Online has released the second preview release of Netscape 6, its next-generation Web client, to the public. Netscape 6 PR 2, which is built on the Mozilla platform, features a customizable user interface, multiple email accounts, new Sidebar functionality, and some interesting language features, such as an automatic way to perform language translation on Web pages. And if you're interested in "skinning" the Netscape 6 interface to create a new look and feel, the company is holding a competition where some of the best designs might actually be included in the final product.

"The Preview Release 2 version of Netscape 6 continues our aggressive push to deliver a next-generation browser designed to meet the needs of a variety of Internet audiences such as consumers, corporate users and Web developers," says Jim Martin, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Netscape. "Built on the open source code, Netscape 6 continues to fulfill its promise to deliver a browser that is smaller and faster, offers a complete communications package, leads the industry in standards compliance and can run across a wide variety of platforms, from traditional desktop PCs to new computing devices. As we work towards delivering the final version of Netscape 6 this fall, we continue to be tremendously excited about the possibilities that the browser brings to drive innovation and competition while continuing to focus on extending the power and convenience of the Internet to every consumer."

The new Themes feature, which has been part of the Mozilla project, allows you to customize the look and feel of Netscape 6 using a variety of "skins," or custom user interfaces. Netscape includes a variety of skins, including a "Classic" skin that will make your browser resemble an old favorite. If you're interested in checking out the available skins or creating your own, please visit the Netscape Themes site. A new feature called My Sidebar Central collects all of the My Sidebar configuration information into a single place, while the My Sidebar Directory provides a comprehensive listing of all known sidebar tabs. The Netscape 6 Instant Messenger (IM) client now offers Buddy Chat, with support for multiple screen names and away messages. Netscape 6 supports Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux and various versions of UNIX. For more information and the free download, please visit the Netscape 6 Web site

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