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HP to Install Netscape on all new PCs 401

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bring-back-the-browser-wars dept.
TJ Parisi writes "News.com is reporting that HP / Compaq will begin to install all PCs sold in the US and Canada with Netscape. Users will be prompted with the option to set either Netscape or IE as the default browser." From the article: "The agreement, which the companies are set to announce Monday, is the first browser distribution deal with a major PC maker since the end of the browser wars in the 1990s, according to Netscape, a division of Time Warner's America Online subsidiary."
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HP to Install Netscape on all new PCs

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  • by soft_guy (534437) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:34PM (#13708378)
    I guess they aren't worried about Netscape anymore.
  • by kubevubin (906716) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:35PM (#13708389) Homepage
    You know, HP, it's hard to market a computer as "fast" or "productive" whenever it's bogged down with excessive pre-installed software. I'm sure that Netscape will also be set to load at startup with everything else that's installed, eh?
  • Why not install Firefox? Netscape is just a UI clusterf**k of what Netscape was. This will make people go " see.. see.. alternative browsers just suck! ".. *Sigh*
  • About time? (Score:4, Funny)

    by cdn2k1 (908657) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:37PM (#13708418)
    Wow, its good to see HP getting with the times... the times being 1991...


  • Netscape is about seven years late. I want to understand why they didn't do something like this when they were battling M$ in an anti-trust lawsuit. Well, yea it makes sense. You can't do something and go to court saying that your competitor is doing a similar thing at the same time. Gotta wait till 2005

  • Really? About time...

    Wonder why they didn't try this 5 years ago.
  • by KevMar (471257)
    And what if the user clicks cancel? what is the default?
  • its just AOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hobo sapiens (893427) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:38PM (#13708428) Journal
    I would be suspicious. I can't tell you how much AOL crapware I had to uninstall and/or purge from the registry when I bought a Dell (don't). The fact that AOL has Netscape now would just make me wonder...

    Just give me IE. I guarantee the first two pages I'll visit are mozilla.org and opera.com. Then, no more IE. No crapware for me!
  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phatwuss (619909) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:39PM (#13708431) Homepage
    That's like asking someone to choose between two pieces of excrement. Why not a choice between Opera and Firefox instead?
    • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by piecewise (169377)
      Netscape is one great marketing effort.

      I love how people loathe Microsoft and use something Netscape because they think IE is tied to a corporate monster. Well, I'd take Microsoft any day of the week over Time Warner + AOL. Holy shit. The greatest evil in our democracy is media consolidation like this. Netscape is a tool for cross-marketing. It's hardest the "Truist" browser for the enthusiast that it used to be.

      I'm more than happy on Safari anyway. Fantastic browser and, honestly, I feel like it's faster t
  • Right idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <john DOT oyler AT comcast DOT net> on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:40PM (#13708449) Journal
    Wrong browser.
    • Re:Right idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Halfbaked Plan (769830) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:21PM (#13708791)
      Uh, Netscape is Firefox under a different skin.

      Or, rather, it's Mozilla. (which I personally prefer strongly over Firefox anyway).

      A lot of the tweaks and configs for Mozilla can be manually patched into Netscape, even if not in the Netscape 'options' menu. Actually, it's one step toward Mozilla/Firefox to get users onto Netscape. And a Netscape friendly Web is by design an identically friendly Firefox friendly web.

      Think about it.

      • Re:Right idea. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Seumas (6865)
        Netscape is Firefox with a crappier interface and jammed full of commercialized tie-ins to AOL/Netscape. It was a terrible choice to include instead of Firefox.
  • why Netscape? Bundling Firefox or Opera I might understand, but I dont have a clue why they would bundle Netscape. What advantages does Netscape have?

    Oh, my emachine that I bought several years ago came with Netscape, so HP is not the first to do this.

  • smart move (Score:5, Informative)

    by vivek7006 (585218) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:41PM (#13708465) Homepage
    "We specifically chose the Netscape browser because od its ability to run both the Triton (IE) and Gecko (Firefox) rendering engines" Sounds like a smart move on part of HP. Does opera allow choosing multiple rendering engines?
    • No, but.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Belial6 (794905)
      Since they are installing IE and a second browser anyway, they could have installed Firefox as the default browser with the "IE View" extension. Then the user would have a good browser, AND be able to use the IE engine at will. Heck, they could even easily set specific pages to use the IE engine by default while getting Firefox for everything else.
  • by js7a (579872)
    My HP doesn't have anthing plugged into the VGA, you insensitive clod.
  • Now if only they had gone all the way and installed Firefox. Still, brand recognition has its place, and this is a good example of where it can be used for a good purpose (less successfull phising and virii!).

    --
    the best Firefox extensions! [arpx.net]
  • Why Netscape? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BobWeiner (83404) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:45PM (#13708494) Homepage Journal
    I'm surprised HP chose Netscape over Firefox. What was the rationale behind their decision?
    • Re:Why Netscape? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ErikRed1488 (193622) <erikdred1488@netscape.net> on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:44PM (#13708945) Journal
      I'm guessing, like most things, it was all about money. Do you really think HP approached Netscape looking for a browser?

      It's far more likely that Netscape/AOL came to HP and offered them a ton of cash to include their browser. Why would they do that you ask? Again, just another guess, but my money says that it's AOL's way of getting their portal and search on a large portion of the PCs out there.

      • Re:Why Netscape? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by lordofthechia (598872) on Monday October 03, 2005 @09:35PM (#13709521)
        Any browser choice is still awesome. As soon as people start to see choice they'll slowly stop equating "the internet" with Internet Explorer and realize that they've had choices all along. I applaud HP with their decision to open their customer's minds and give them an option. They've really earned my respect with by still selling AMD processor PC's and now this.

        Now if their all in one wireless printer/scanners didn't require 380-700mb of software/drivers (And no I'm not kidding...).
  • This is good news; I'm guessing that the threat of HP making a BIG fuss will stop Microsoft from changing any of the OS discounts that HP get. Even if Netscape isn't used; the fact that the icon is there is good; The netscape icon represents another way to view the internet... too many people right now think IE IS the internet. Just that slight change in perception is a start.
  • If Microsoft is buying a controlling stake in AOL, as has been reported, how long will this deal hold?
  • Good decision (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rjdohnert (772699)
    Im so happy Netscape is being preinstalled. Opera or Netscape would have been a significant choice
  • Middleman (Score:3, Funny)

    by patrickclay (898576) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:46PM (#13708503) Homepage
    Great! Now users can use Netscape instead of Explorer to navigate to www.getfirefox.com
  • by callipygian-showsyst (631222) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:46PM (#13708505) Homepage
    Don't worry! Microsoft will buy AOL so they'll win no matter what the customers choose.
  • Users will be prompted with the option to set either Netscape or IE as the default browser

    What would be selected by default? Many users will just go with the default...
  • First a question about WEP on Win, now it's big news that HP is giving away a free browser.

    Of course, I'll get modded down as flamebait by the fascist moderators, but that's life and my karma can handle it. If you can't laugh at my post at least laugh at my sig...
  • Has anybody heard of any reaction from Microsoft on this? It would be interesting to see what they have to say. I'm sure they're not happy about it.
  • About Mozilla (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Saxerman (253676) *
    And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror.

    from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

  • Seriously, is there any reason to use it instead of Firefox or Mozilla?
    • /prepares for the inevitable troll mod from the firefox fanboys..

      From my personal experience.. and it is only mine.. Firefox sucks. I have not seen anything crash and burn like that thing did for me. I've tried it on 3 different machines and it sucked shit every time.

      I put Netscape 7.2 on all my clients machines and it works. They have their integrated email client, pop-up blocking, and better security.

      Why does firefox die so horribly for me? Is it because I won't use Xtra Problems as an os? Netscape 7

  • Lets avoid a good browser (Mozilla or NOW free opera) and go with crippleware rebranded piece-o-crap Netscape.

    Where's my default banner-blockers? Thats right, that takes away money from web sites.

    Where's sane web-surfing rules already loaded in? Cause they dont care if you get hit by the next crapware-of-the-week.

    Where's a cornucopia of tools and plugins to modify (dare I say improve) Netscape? Oh yeah. AOL instant messenger. ;-(

    No thank you.
  • Nice but so what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frank249 (100528) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:50PM (#13708538)
    I never stopped using Netscape but I fear this will not bring back many users. The users who care will switch to Firefox or Opera. The rest will use what they use at the office which for most of use is IE. This is like buying a computer that comes with Corel WordPerfect. It is better than Office but if it is free it can't be any good.
  • This may have been a coup 6 or 7 years ago, but this is a waste of bandwidth on today's internet.

    H-Paq is a company on its way down.
    Netscape lost the war and continues to lose market share even to its own offspring.

    Sounds to me like they're scraping the bottom of the barrel for any press coverage they can drum up. Cuz god knows you can't download and install it yourself. And the OS doesn't have its own default-browser setting menus. Oh wait, you can. And it does.
  • I don't even understand why it's an option. Most people given the choice will choose IE out of ignorance, while Netscape is safer and takes away most compatibility issues.
  • Even if Netscape is chosen at install time, IE is still installed. And if Netscape is chosen, I have the feeling that it probably defaults to IE (instead of Netscape's own) rendering engine. http://browser.netscape.com/ns8/help/nav_help.jsp# nav_swapping [netscape.com]
  • 7 years or so too late...

    I can't even understand why the Netscape name is still alive after all this time, it has gone through constant failures until the point where I don't even associate anything good about the name anymore.

    I can't even see what good this deal does AOL, and it sounds like they payed a huge pile of dollars for a deal like this.
  • Netscape is still a piece of shit. Install Firefox for god's sake or at least Mozilla. Yuck.

  • Isn't Netscape a dying product (to be replaced by firefox, sunbird, thunderbird, etc...), and if so why are they installing this product instead of firefox. I understand they are both gecko based, but doesn't Netscape contain a lot of other cruft?
  • by Deitheres (98368) <brutalentropyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:53PM (#13708572)
    WHY? Let me ask it a different way: good god, why?!?

    I used netscape back during the 4.0 days, when it was the best browser available for Linux. Even then, I hated it.

    Now, there are SOOO many better browsers. Frankly, IE with active X disabled is better than netscape. Firefox beats them both. For Linux, there's konqueror (and firefox as well). I use a combination of Firefox/Camino/Safari under OS X. There is not ONE scenario under which I would use Netscape.

    Why wouldn't they do a bundle with Firefox? Or Opera, now that it's 100% free.

    Netscape's time has come and gone. There are much better IE alternatives available now.

    Then again, HP is not exactly on the leading edge of tech anymore. Some would say they haven't been for quite some time... wasn't there a /. article recently about them firing all of their good engineers? Obviously, there's almost no one left with brains left at HP, at least not in whatever department choose to make this idiotic decision.

    That being said, I am happy to see anything that detracts from IE marketshare. Not because I hate MS (although I do to a degree), but only because I think that competition forces innovation. Look at how things were in the 90s when IE and Netscape were battling it out, we saw all kind of changes in the browser software. Hopefully we'll see something that like occur again.

    Only time will tell.
  • HP reports that their cost of building a Windows based PC has tripled due to losing 'preferred vendor' status from Microsoft.

    Seriously though... it will be interesting to see how and if Redmond responds.
  • Why not FireFox instead?
  • You know, lately HP seems to be wanting to partner with anyone to help unseat MS. I mean they made the deal to put iTunes on all their computers, not sure if they're still doing so. And now this. I mean I can't say I mind at all... but it's just funny to see. Oh well the more people we have using something other than IE, even if it's Netscape, the better.
    • I know I could be wrong, but I don't think iTunes is still included, I thought that was part of the iPod deal, which HP terminated.

      HP doesn't seem to have the vendor lock-in with Intel either, they sell Opteron and Athlon based computers.
  • Sadly, I'm not sure that it's enough. I fear that most people will see "Netscape" and remember the older browser, pre-Firefox and opt against Netscape as their default browser. Either way, it's nice to see more options available.
  • Come on guys be daredevils, how about open office as well (in for a penny in for a pound).
  • It seems to me that most people who would choose netscape over Internet Explorer wouldn't use IE anyways. If they know enough that they want to stay away from IE they can figure out how to download Netscape or Firefox or Mozilla or Opera, etc. etc. So it seems to me that while this looks like a good deal on paper it's not going to diminish IE's strangehold on the browser market anytime soon. However it is really good news to see companies giving people a choice to microsoft.
  • Mmm-hmm. HP's most recent partnership was with Apple. How'd that work out for them?

    Jeebus. Just bring back the calculators and VMS, already.

  • Firefox, please?
  • Bad news:
    Triton lives on as a rendering engine for Netscape... still vulnerable, and if your parents get one of these new HPs, you might still have to do the ad-aware ritual on Thanksgiving.

    Good news:
    IE's marketshare drops again. More sites will feel pressure to accept non-IE browsers (making it easier for your family to use non-IE browsers for all tasks). Microsoft feels pressure to make IE7 better, and Steve Ballamer destroys another chair ;-)
  • "Netscape, a division of Time Warner's America Online subsidiary."

    Thank God they changed it from AOL Time/Warner.

    Speaking of Netscape, it's been out of the game so long is it even worth using anymore? If by using netscape will users be targeted for AOL spyware/ads? Is Netscape even secure and/or modern in 2005/2006?

  • I bet there will be a lot of people still picking IE because of its name. A lot of people (noobs, average administrator users) will probably recommend it as well. I would have liked to see more initiative on the part of PC manufacturers without having some company (like TimeWarner) pay them off so they can include it (just guessing about that.) The Mozilla suite or Firefox/Thunderbird would have been a better choice too.

    Off topic: I was siting behind someone with a slick new laptop today running Windows X

  • by The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:01PM (#13708643) Homepage Journal
    Netscape 8 is based on Firefox, but lets users switch between both the Firefox and IE browser engines.

    Keep this in mind. This is Netscape 8, possibly the ugliest browser out there. It uses Firefox's rendering engine (Gecko), but also has the ability to use IE's rendering engine if needed.

    FTA:
    Netscape 8 is based on Firefox, but lets users switch between both the Firefox and IE browser engines.

    So now IE is still kind of the default browser -- when the site doesn't render properly, they will just switch the rendering engine to IE and go on like normal. It resolves nothing, as websites are not encouraged to fix their bugs.

    Links:

    Netscape Browser 8 [netscape.com]
    Screenshot of Netscape Browser 8 [wikipedia.org] -- The goggles! They do nothing!
    Details on Netscape 8 UI Flaws [blakeross.com]
  • Too bad they are loading it with Netscape 8 and not one of the better designed (graphically) Mozilla projects. It's like they took a book on bad interface design and puked out the GUI.

    At least more people will be using the Gecko engine, which should help fight the standards black-hole that is IE.
  • by Pii (1955) <jedi&lightsaber,org> on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:02PM (#13708660) Journal
    Other than Firefox [mozilla.org]?
  • by Osrin (599427) * on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:03PM (#13708666) Homepage
    ... for 1997. Do they have a secret plan to offer Firefox in 2026?
  • Netscape? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jmilezy (904134)
    ...What's netscape?
  • Going with Netscape instead of Firefox seems like a strange choice to me.

    from the article:

    Netscape 8 is based on Firefox, but lets users switch between both the Firefox and IE browser engines. Many Web sites have been built to work with IE, so supporting both the Firefox and IE engines maximizes compatibility.

    "We specifically chose the Netscape browser because it has the added advantage of hosting numerous security features while also having the ability to run both the Triton (IE) and Gecko (Firefox)

  • More zilla on the net can only be a good thing, but forcing that horrible horrible UI on anyone really isn't fair. I only hope that the words Mozilla or Firefox don't appear anywhere within the actual browser. The last thing the Mozilla foundation needs is anyone thinking that terd has anything to do with Mozilla/Firefox.

    btw in system setup how many people these days are even going to pick Netscape over IE as their default browser? There is a whole generation of Net users out there never even used or heard
  • "Icons for the browser, which will be customized with links to HP and Compaq Web sites, will appear in the Windows Start menu"

    Plus I'm sure AOL is installed, which means AIM will be installed, and I don't even want to guess what else is installed by default as well.

    It is cool that Netscape is installed with the PC and your given the option to have it as your default browser. I am not a mozilla fan, but that would have been the better choice, unless there is something planned for this
    • I work at AOL and right now they are desperate to maintain marketshare. They lost a ton of it and wont go into details since my boss knows my ID.

      AOL wants people to try out there software for free and then hope they become customers. AOL comes with a ton of products with 9.0 including Itunes, McAfee anti-virus, spyware protection,etc. My guess is perhaps they are considering adding netscape since Mozilla is progressing nicely.

      AOL loves to give out free cd's and software and that is part of their business mo
  • No one has any comments? It somewhat surprises me that HP is going with Netscape and not Firefox; yea, the latter is community-driven and not backed by a large corporation (I don't know if Mozilla Corp. counts), but comparing the time-to-patch for the two products, you'd think they'd choose the best for their users.
    • heh, something went wrong with the site, there were no comments appearing, everyone replied to the root, thought they had first post maybe, and then they all appeared, and now it looks v silly :p
  • Dichotomy (Score:3, Funny)

    by ndansmith (582590) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:09PM (#13708723)
    What about Opera? Is a two-browser system better than a IE monopoly, or should there be more choices? It seems sort of arbitrary in 2005 to force a choice between Netscape and Internet Explorer. 1995 called . . .

    . . . wait, I hate those jokes.

  • OK, let me be the first to ask the obvious question -- why Netscape, and not Firefox or Mozilla? Aren't they basically the same codebase at this point anyway, with Netscape simply being a branded and skinned version of Mozilla??
  • This is great for monopoly-busting of IE and all, but it doesn't help the user from a usability standpoint. The new version of Netscape is still sub-par as far as browsers go; preinstalling Opera or Firefox would actually help users.

    Once again, marketing triumphs over utility.
  • Have comments been blocked on this thread?
  • News.com is reporting that HP / Compaq will begin to install all PCs sold in the US and Canada with Netscape
    This is good. But When MS buys a stake in AOL. HP will be back installing IE. I hope that wont happen
  • No way jose.. The current release of Netscape has more serious bugs in it's UI than IE and FireFox combined. That is not counting the security exploits that the browser has in it as well.

    Now if HP went the Open Source way and loaded FF and TBird in it, i'd buy stock in the company and watch it soar.

    So sorry.. But Netscape has fallen out of favor with the mainstream.
  • So now we can advocate Netscape 8.0 that uses the IE rendering engine and really advance the adoption of open ... oh wait ... nevermind

    I know, I know, the IE renderer is just an option, still, this won't really do squat for alternative browsers. Now, if this was Firefox by default, then it'd be a cause for celebration.
  • What's the deal? HP does nothing for free.

    There's got to be something more attractive to HP here besides revenue sharing from landing one or two ISP accounts. (That's so 90's)

    Did AOL simply fork over the cash? Hmmm, doubt it. Then what?
  • This is really unfortunate. It is fantastic that even an 'option' is being offered, but Netscape had been installed on HP and Compaq computers in the past (Netscape 6.2.1) and nobody used it. What's going to change that now? The only option would be to make it the default -- and unfortunately, Netscape is not much more secure than Internet Explorer [secunia.com] at the present time. They still haven't released a fix for the "critical" soft-hyphen IDN exploit, but Firefox had a new release with the fix out within a week.
  • Netscape inludes firefox rendering, and you can easily set it during install/1st config to never use IE engine.

    Why Netscape? AOL has the clout to make the deal and support Netscape for free. If HP will install it, they must have some support for problems. With Netscape, they can pass the buck to AOL. That and they probably needed the nudge.

    As for MS, they just lost re: netscape and antitrust so they aren't going to openly oppose this.

    This is very good news as many people simply use the browser that comes with their PC. They may have heard about Netscape and Firefox, but they probably will never download it.

    If it's on their PC, they will probably try it and hopefully use it.

    Having a non IE browser installed by default with the PC is the best way to increase market share.

    Hopefully this will pressure other manufacturers to follow suit.

    Ryan
  • Netscape, a division of Time Warner's America Online subsidiary.
    My God, how far they've fallen. A once proud tech giant, now nothing more than a division of a subsidiary...
    /me sheds a single tear
  • I think this is actually a step in the right direction for computers. I mean we're geeks, so we know about Linux and alternate browsers, etc... but the regular home user still lives ignorant of anything outside of the Microsoft Box. At least something different is being done.
  • Ugh, could we have had a real browser, please? One that doesn't bastardize every desktop UI convention and trick people into a false sense of security by relying on the IE engine without telling you?

    Seriously, vanilla Firefox would have offered them just as much opportunity to customize the L&F to be cluttered with HP branding to the point that it's unusable. That's what they're no doubt planning to do anyway.

    Still, it's good news, even if only for the positive PR and the likely resulting reduction in
  • If AOL offered HP a bunch of money for this, then HP could have saved the same amount on future tech support calls and given users a browser they might have heard of.. something called Firefox.

    Never mind that Netscape 8 has an ugly interface and the rendering engine switching is one of the lamest schemes ever to be thought up by an AOL PHB.

    For $DEITY's sake AOL, now that you've killed Netscape, let us old school geeks remember it fondly... just let it die. Stop pissing on its grave. Assbags.

  • by mcgroarty (633843) <brian.mcgroarty@gmaiLIONl.com minus cat> on Monday October 03, 2005 @08:21PM (#13709115) Homepage
    HP systems also come with Sun's Java virtual machine and a Sun JVM updater installed, which is a pleasant surprise as compared to the nonsense software you usually see bundled with PCs.
  • Great.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Monday October 03, 2005 @11:48PM (#13710126) Homepage
    Now if they'd just refrain from installing all the other crap like Easy Internet Setup, 30 WildTangent Spywa^h^h^h^h^hGames, Compaq Control Center, Crippled AntiVirus, and 3 Day Trial MS Office.
  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @12:57AM (#13710334)
    So what if Microsoft DOES buy AOL as has been rumored last month [com.com]?
    • Umh, since AOL/Netscape "cut the cord" to Mozilla a few years back (when the Mozilla Foundation was formed), there probably won't be anything. Most likely someone else (like HP, Novell, and/or IBM) would start releasing a browser based on Firefox...acutally since AOL is not 100% behind Netscape right now anyhow, it may be the best thing to happen to Mozilla since Firefox.
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @03:51AM (#13710775)
    Strange coincidence, I just saw a HP ad this morning before reading this article, and it started off with something like "Time is not important in space, but it is on Earth, and we give you nine hours of laptop battery time, so buy them."

    These guys are going for the crash so bad it hurts.

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