Update: The final version of Netscape 8.0 is now available for download.

With the kind of bitter sweet irony that life is so happy to serve on us, it looks as if Netscape 8.0, set to be released today, owes some of its progress to Internet Explorer, the browser that toppled it in the first place. When Microsoft included IE with the Windows OS in the late 1990s, it crippled Netscape and sparked off a huge antitrust suit from the US Justice Department. Now, it looks as if the tables could turn.

The new Netscape uses the core technology in the Firefox browser to display some Web pages, whilst using a version of Internet Explorer for others. It appears that the new Netscape browser has more in common with longtime archrival Explorer than it does with previous versions of Netscape.

The new Netscape will open 150,000 "trusted" websites with Explorer. Sites known to be used by scam artists won't open or will appear with their interactive features turned off. Unknown sites will open with Firefox unless a user indicates otherwise.