America Online unveiled this week a new version of its Netscape browser (does the name sound familiar?) currently in beta, the new browser is based on Firefox 1.0 code which means it comes 'bundled' with most of the bugs already found on Mozilla's browser which was updated to 1.01 just days ago. AOL's original plan was to release the browser last month but last-minute bugs delayed the launch date a bit, since this is a beta further refinement is to be expected over the course of coming months.

Not to be too harsh on Netscape's efforts, I gave the browser a try for a few hours and felt pretty comfortable with it. Of course, I have come to love Firefox already but you may want to know Netscape 8.0 (downloadable here) can do both IE and Firefox webpage rendering which indeed comes handy at times. Also the import function worked flawlessly which minimized the effort when switching browsers and last but not least, some users may appreciate the fact that some of Firefox's most popular extensions come preloaded (or sort of) which makes for a good first impression, too.

On the bad side, no Google search from scratch but Netscape's which is no good for me. Also the looks of the program do not fall on the tested and proven category which may lead to love/hate kind of feedback.