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Netscape launches lightweight Communicator

Good heavens, it's almost anorexic...

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Netscape Communications is launching a slimmed down version of its popular Web browser aimed at bringing Net access to anything other than a conventional PC. If it proves successful, it would make the widespread acceptance of using small lightweight devices -- including personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones -- to access the Web more likely. Coincidentally, it ties in with AOL's strategy "AOL Anywhere" which intends to deliver the AOL service to all emerging interactive platforms ready for the mass market. Communicator 5.0 -- code named Gecko -- is so light on its feet its almost anorexic, said one expert who was just a little surprised to hear that the stripped-down browser could now be stored on a single floppy disk. According to the techies at Internet.com who've had a preview of the browser, the release did not include plug-ins, e-mail support or secure sockets layer (SSL) support. Nevertheless, testing did prove that the browser was "noticeably faster" than recent releases of Communicator representing a complete overhaul and rewrite of the browser engine, they said.

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