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HP goes a bundle with Netscape

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All new HP desktops and laptops sold in the US and Canada will come with pre-installed Netscape browsers.

Users will be able to choose between Netscape and Internet Explorer. The announcement harks back to the mid-90s when Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape battled for market share. But it is a battle that IE had won - it has around 90 per cent of the market with Opera, Firefox and Mozilla taking up the rest.

HP said it chose Netscape because of security and its ability to use two rendering engines - IE's and Firefox's. The ink giant is still deciding what to do with browsers in other territories.

The browser wars officially ended in 2003 when Microsoft paid AOL/Time Warner $750m to settle an antitrust suit. As part of the settlement AOL agreed to license Internet Explorer for seven years.

The deal will presumably also benefit AOL, which paid $4.2bn for Netscape, by making it easier for users to sign up to AOL.

AOL bought Time Warner for $165bn in late 2000.®

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