) _Netscape Communications_ expects to release a beta version of its
Navigator 4.0 browser, code-named Galileo, to coincide with its Internet
Developer Conference in mid-October, Netscape's Marc Andreessen said in an
interview with CNET today.
An October release date for Galileo would once again put Netscape _(NSCP)_
neck-and-neck with _Microsoft_, its chief rival in the browser market. Last
week, CNET reported that Microsoft plans to offer a beta version of Internet
Explorer 4.0 sometime in October.
Andreessen, Netscape's cofounder and senior vice president of technology,
sounded ready for the fight. "We want to leave the century as a $2 billion or
$3 billion company," he said.
With Galileo, Netscape is working to add a range of groupware capabilities to
its client software in an effort to make Navigator more useful to
corporations. The groupware capabilities will primarily include improvements
to Navigator's integrated email and Usenet software, including Secure/MIME
(S/MIME) support for encrypting and authenticating email, IMAP4 support for
reading email and discussion groups offline, and other features, such as
filtering, searching, and rules that are standard parts of enterprise email
At its developer conference next month, Netscape could focus on other
Navigator developments, such as its plan to integrate browser functions
seamlessly with operating systems, a trajectory that Microsoft is also
following with Internet Explorer 4.0. Previously, Andreessen has said that
Netscape will blend its browser with operating systems around the time it
Netscape is also preparing next-generation versions of its Web, email, and
other servers, which are grouped under the collective code name of Orion.
Andreessen said that the Orion servers will be introduced through 1997.
In the meantime, Netscape today posted a beta version of its first-generation
_Directory Server_. Based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
(LDAP), the server allows companies to store information, such as user names,
email addresses, security keys, and contact information, which can then be
obtained by Web browsers.