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Netscape Out, iPlanet In 70

trims wrote to us with the an update on the AOL/Sun/Netscape triumvirate. Quite a lot of people have written that the the products are taking the name iPlanet, but it also appears that the name Netscape itself is being dropped from all but Navigator and Communicator. The article itself talks a bit about open source movement, and how the decision to drop the Netscape name was partly because Netscape had burned so many developers.
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Netscape name being dropped from some products

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  • Communicator ran fine for me under 2.0.36, and continues to do so under 2.2.6 - I'm running the latest 4.61 release (4.5 was fine too), with the Shockwave and RealPlayer G2 (alpha) plugins - all fine :) I use it for mail and news also.

    Maybe your problems are due to either botching the complicated 2.0 -> 2.2 upgrade, or running one of the more recent flaky 2.2 kernels? It does appear to have stabalized again, although I'm sticking with 2.2.6 for the time being...
  • We haven't forgotten that
    Scott McNeily, head of Sun,
    has called GNULinux a commie
    OS. But, believe this: Our
    $299 GNULinux Servers from Pogo
    and others will destroy him in
    just a short time. He is trapped
    between the powerful MS monopoly
    that wants him destroyed and the
    GNULinux community that wants him
    gone. There is no where for the
    RAT to go except down with the
    sinking ship. Our $299 GNUlinux
    servers have plenty of iron already
    and we will have more iron at less
    cost with the Free Hardware Foundation
    underway. Sun is finished they
    are just lingering now. Scott will
    regret the day he called GNULinux
    a "commie" OS and we better not
    find our code being exploited in
    any of Sun's outrageously priced
  • There's still two-letter domains available in some of the non-US domains. .cx (Christmas Islands) still have a few good ones left, although you need a special reason for them to let you have one. Try if your interested - they're cheap!

  • That's strange... I tried using MSIE 5.0 in
    Win2000, and it crashed about 5-10 times a day.
    Netscape 4.6 crashes only once or twice a WEEK.
    And when MSIE goes down, it f*cks up the entire

    If that's an "innovation" from MS, then I'll take
    a "stagnant" company like Netscape/AOL any day... ;)


    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • Ahem.... What release? I had problems with NS 4.6 in RH 5.0, but I found the problem was likely the release since the problems (which I do agree that Netscape would MYSTERIOUSLY freeze on me. SUCK!) went away with RH 6.0 and Caldera 1.3 and up. Windows users: BEWARE IE5 and Windows 98 SE!!!
  • mozilla mathML group are scurrying...they freeze mid-august.
    this is whats gonna be the next "netscape", yes? freeze in august to release in march...?
  • Considering the number of posts I've seen on slashdot about how well, Win2k/IE5 works, perhaps you should look at your possible that there may be something you can fix...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 1999 @06:42AM (#1790311)

    Communicator, Navigator, and Netcenter are not part of the Alliance. They retain the Netscape name. Your client is still Netscape.

    The reason all of this is happening is that AOL bought Netscape almost entirely for Netcenter, their web site. They honestly didn't care that much about their products and technologies, except maybe Mozilla (which they want to be able to use for future "embedded" type stuff from what I understand). I don't think they would have let Sun use the brand for the server products.

    iPlanet is now the name for all of the server products, which didn't have nearly the reputation (think general public, not slashdot readers) that their clients have had. AOL will continue to use the Netscape brand name, but you won't see anything coming from Sun or from the Alliance that says Netscape on it (or so I have been lead to believe).

    The name i-Planet was acquired by Sun when they bought a startup last October--see [] (i-planet, not iplanet). i-Planet had several products. The technology from one of them (which was RemotePassage from i-Planet) was incorporated with some Sun technology and produced a product which you have have heard referred to by one of its many internal names, "". The name of the actual finished product was changed several times, but eventually they named the product i-Planet.

    Now the Alliance thing comes along and they are reusing the name (but without the hyphen now). So the product is now being re-named; what was the i-Planet software package from Sun is now the iPlanet Webtop from the Sun|Netscape Alliance.

    (Incidentally, the webtop is a really nifty product that allows you secure remote access through a firewall via any SSL and Java aware browser; it can tunnel arbitrary protocols via a Java applet in the browser, so you can check your email behind the firewall from any airport net kiosk or similar access point.)

    So, this has zilch to do with Mozilla, but it does affect all of the Netscape .* Server products and all of the Netscape .*Xpert products. But you probably don't use those anyway if you read Slashdot.

  • That would be hard to do... it was a fresh install
    and I'm no dummy. The browser was not stable.

    And that's still no excuse for bringing down the


    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • First, I'm taking the article with a grain of salt. I downloaded M7 a few weeks ago and was very impressed how far it has come. I know M8 has been released recently. Therefore, I am filing all comments about "Mozilla disappointment" under "Clueless/Myopic Industry Pundits Who Give Sound Bites Between Rounds of Solitaire".

    Since the alliance, though, I'm hearing more statements from the Sun side of the alliance than AOL. Who's driving this bus? If AOL purchased Netscape, why is Sun making statements which suggest that they are distancing from Netscape? Why is AOL allowing this? Are they simply the lapdog for Sun now?

    Sun is starting to make me a little nervous. Overall, they seem preoccupied with beating Microsoft. Is this because they actually want to BE Microsoft? I have no desire to see one marketshare-abusing entity replaced by another.
  • Double check your system files with sfc or that your vr on your motherboard is set properly...I do not know of this "crashing" that you speak of and believe it may be an isolated incident.
  • No 2002=e again, then i, then o.

    The hidden lyrics are:

    CmdrTaco had a website,
    e i e i o.
    And on that site there was some news,
    e i e i o...

    Or perhaps I need my dosage adjusted... :-)
  • Yes, the rest of us also wish you had had something to say.

  • At the risk of sounding redundant, but yet maintaining relevance to this thread: They ARE keeping the name Netscape for the Navigator and Communicator for the very reasons that you think they should. Changing the name on other products should not affect them much, given that "those in the know" that are using the Netscape server product will be well aware of the name change, and new customers will be interested in the "new" product based on its qualities, not it's name.
  • I doubt I'm the only one who's been waiting for this to happen ever since AOL assimilated netscape. But will the name change mean anything? A rose by any other name will still crash on every second page with java.
  • What's the deal with all these "i" prefixes? We've had "iMac", "iToaster", "iBook", and now "iPlanet". Guess it stands for "information".

    I do think it grates a bit, though not as badly as "e-" does, as in "e-commerce", "e-business" etc.

  • Why is it that everyone seems to have to choose names like iMac, iPlanet, eWhatever, jMax, etc?

    Who came up with this? Does it actually make more money?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This sure is news to me. Millions of people still consider Netscape Navigator to be the One True Browser, and think of it as "Netscape" (not "Navigator" or "Communicator").

    Bleh, this is sucky news.
  • Oh I don't know, "e" has made the British music scene what it is today and made night clubbing a much more friendly experience, even if one does not take it. It might taste foul (so I'm told) but I don't think it grates. Also, some organisations have made an awful lot of money selling E. Oh wait... wrong sort of e-business...


    End User Licence Agreement: By reading this post you accept that it an attempt at humour (even if it is not a very good one). If you do not accept these conditions you must forget all the contents of this post and may not communicate any of it's contents in any form.
  • I think you will find i is for internet :-).

    as in "this iPost is now buzzword complient"
  • Someday, some brilliant marketing type is going to start a company called 'i', and that person is going to be rich beyond his wildest dreams.

    Then, 'i' can branch out a few days after it goes online, when it starts pulling multi-million dollar losses, and form a sister company - 'e'. Perhaps a personalized web page service as well - 'u'. These three buzz-companies will then generate so much red ink, their stocks are sure to shoot up to $500/share when they go public 3 weeks later.

    I should shoot this on over to Zig Ziegler and get some royalties out of the deal. Or better yet, go register right now :).

    "This is my theme music - every good hero should have some."
  • short answer: marketing, yes.
    long answer: It was the result of many market surveys which found that people wanted cute buzzletters as well as buzzwords. And, as the masses are, as we all know, asses, it has indeed worked, and apple have sold a shitload of iMacs :)
  • by shomon2 ( 71232 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @04:09AM (#1790329) Journal
    So much time has gone by since webmonkey did a feature on M5, the party, the resignation, and I remember that as soon as I read that letter from jzw on his site, I immediately wanted to mail him to congratulate him for being such an enthusiastic person, who did so much in the past, but was then obviously going through some very hard shit.

    (It was good that I didn't: I'd only got to the bit about followed by laughter by then, and further down it said it wasn't really his address...)

    But in any case, I don't think netscape developers were "burned".

    If Jwz hadn't resigned that day in such a big way, I (and lots of other webmonkey readers, and maybe even slashdot newbies) might never have heard of him. And that is the kind of people the web needs(and I'd name Bill Gates, Linus, Tim berners -lee, and so many more here, even just because they challenge us in positive or negative ways to work harder), because they are ordinary human beings trying to create what they dream is possible. Sometimes they fuck up or leave, but that is *not* burning!!

    When we started this company, we were out to change the world. And we did that. Without us, the change probably would have happened anyway, maybe six months or a year later, and who-knows-what would have played out differently. But we were the ones who actually did it.

    The Netscape experience showed, and is still showing us events in computing that are happening for the first time ever, that computing has had no experience of, simply because they were pioneers. Failure as well as success can be inspiring, because we can learn from those errors.

    But of course, all this is from a humanistic point of view, not in the sense of organisational management. In that case they may be right, but the strategy of blocking out and trying to forget old mistakes never pays off in the long run. Perhaps the aol/sun/netscape conglomerate should challenge those mistakes instead of trying to cover them up...

  • iDon't know....

    I'm sure they're just compying the iMac trend. The Planet part is almost undoubtedly for their portal (soon to be amalgamated soon too, I'm sure). Marketers have a funny way of thinking.

  • The biggest worry that I have is that with this 'Alliance' including Sun technology (directory server components, application server components, and the like), I start to worry about Netscapes committment to Linux. Sun has always been 'borderline' on a Linux committment (no formal support plans, no server offerings, etc.). Is the committment to support Linux still there? Will there be iPlanet for Linux?
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @03:53AM (#1790332)
    This mozilla bashing going on in the media is so tiring! It comes from two-bit reporters who likely have never seen Mozilla, and are just quoting FUD generated by other two-bit reporters. Mozilla is a fantastic piece of software. Considering the current incarnation has only been in development for eight or nine months, its make remarkable progress.

    I think this is a knee-jerk reaction pushed by Sun to combat the fact that Netscape's name only has consumer value, not developer value which is the target of the "iPlant" marketing program.

    I think Sun and AOL/Netscape are trying to take their existing products that aren't necessarily so highly regarded and brand them under another moniker to hide their roots. I'd expect product names to start changing too, so less clue-full developers who aren't watching these things may end up not realizing what the packages they're looking at actually are.

    Sun's also in a tough position, as operating systems like Linux are becoming more capable of mission critical applications on Intel, Alpha, and other lower cost hardware. They're losing their monopoly on high-performance fault-tolerant systems.

    I think there's also a growing trend (not growing fast enough, however) for companies developing major eApplications (can I coin that term?) to start utilizing network application architects to properly design the software, hardware, and network to provide better reliability, scalability and fault tolerance through intellegent system design rather than purchasing bigger iron. That trend, as it continues, will only serve to hurt Sun/Netscape more, because they're not going to be able to justify their extremely high hardware costs, and can't keep up with the pace of development in packages like Apache and JServ where high-performance fault-tolerant network application architecture is concerned.

    I think its going to end up like all the other iProducts, like the iMac, iBook, etc. Marketing, marketing, marketing. With the real value of the product fairly low on technical merits when compared to price of competing products. Management types will like it...
  • The difference between the difference between Netscape and MSIE and the difference between *nix and Windows (NT) is what I call striking..

    Somehow, when Microsoft throws incredible amounts of money and manpower at making a browser to be given away for free (albeit to kill off competition), they can make a top-notch product that performs well[1], but in the OS field they can't....

    Maybe they felt threatened in the browser-market.. Threatened, say, by not having a monopoly?

    [1] 'Well', as in 'speed', not security etc. Though in most cases the OS makes MSIE dangerous, not MSIE bugs themselves...


  • by Anonymous Coward

    OK, here's 'half' an answer (but you can randomly speculate all you want about the future, and I can't tell you what it holds either).

    On every press release from today, under the section 'About the Sun-Netscape Alliance', is the following statement: "The products are offered on the industry's most widely available product platforms, including HP, IBM, Linux, SGI, Microsoft Windows, and Sun. The Alliance software product portfolio includes: messaging and calendar, collaboration, Web, application, directory, and certificate servers."

    Hmm, no *BSD ;-)

  • Netscape was pretty stable for me under 2.0.x. Once I switched over to 2.2.x it got so unstable I had to pitch it.

    I've since switched to using VMware+NT+IE5 for web browsing and configured my linux desktop system for IP Masquerade.

    And I thought Netscape took a lot of resources... the redeeming quality here though is that it WORKS....

  • The article gives the impression that the Browser will eventually become an AOL centric application. Is this true, or just another example of a DUR(Dumb Uninformed Reporter)?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    As someone who is in the middle of the fray on this, I'm going to add my $.02. It's not Sun who's screwing things up, it's AOL. AOL is driving people out of Netscape because their managers are clueless, don't listen to the people actually working on stuff, and in general have an east coast mentality and don't give a damn about anything other than not taking responsibility for their own actions. Their main goal is to not lose their own jobs.

    Although the Sun alliance part is screwed up too, it's actually doing a lot more for the company than AOL is. Less people have left from the Alliance side than from the AOL side. The server products are moving forward (all of them) and the Sun people (Mark Tolliver and such) actually listen to the Netscape people and use their ideas if they're good.

    Blame AOL for ruining Netscape, not Sun.
  • "Planet" is not better:
    PlanetHollywood,, PlanetRadio, ...
  • Well, I may be mistaken, but I think IE automatically allocates enough resources to each window you have open. In Netscape, you choose how much you want to let it take. There's so much more that's configurable. I guess I don't tend to like programs that do everything for me. ;]

    Also, (I'm running a Windoze box where I am now) IE has never worked correctly on this system. If it crashed, it'd take everything down with it, and there tended to be a horrific lack of options. (I've not used MSIE5 though.) And it'd crash often.

    Netscape has proven itself much more reliable, at least to me.

  • By running words together or changing their capitalization, you can preserve most of their original meaning while making the new word or phrase unique.

    This has its roots in trademark law. I cannot trademark "Best" nor "Save" because they are in common usage, but I do stand a reasonable chance of trademarking "BestSave".

    I don't know if this is US-centric or is the norm worldwide.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sun's also in a tough position, as operating systems like Linux are becoming more capable of mission critical applications on Intel, Alpha, and other lower cost hardware. They're losing their monopoly on high-performance fault-tolerant systems.

    Linux on the Intel or Alpha has a helluva long way to go before it can match the fault tolerance of the proprietary Sun hardware running Solaris. When you have total control over the hardware platform, you can do things like manage the booting process on multiple servers remotely, boot using kernels pulled from a network machine, have hot-swappable system boards, power supplies, and storage. Not to mention that an E10000 is a LOT more scalable than anything linux currently runs on.

    I think there's also a growing trend ... for companies developing major eApplications ... to start utilizing network application architects to properly design the software, hardware, and network to provide better reliability, scalability and fault tolerance through intellegent system design rather than purchasing bigger iron.

    The increase in use of "eApplications" only increases the need for the kinds of servers Sun makes the most money on. "Bigger iron" on the server-side (Sun's market) means you can serve up e-commerce and "eApplications" to more clients.

    That trend, as it continues, will only serve to hurt Sun/Netscape more, because they're not going to be able to justify their extremely high hardware costs, and can't keep up with the pace of development in packages like Apache and JServ where high-performance fault-tolerant network application architecture is concerned.

    See my first paragraph for a justification of Sun's high hardware cost. As for Apache and JServ, Sun is fostering their development by providing the code for the JSDK 2.1 reference platform to the JServ team.

    Of course, this suggests a great strategy for companies starting out in things like e-commerce. Use linux with something like Apache/JServ, and when you grow enough to need to scale up and gain more fault-tolerance (and you can afford it), you can move to the Sun enterprise platform and keep the same server software running under Solaris.
  • Let's think about this, AOL used to be a great friend to the Redmond monolith...
    Now AOL has been named enemy of the MSN group. Big surprise there, but what was Redmond's big problem over the last few years?

    Think just maybe M$ has there fingers in AOL still? With the big plan to ruin Sun and Netscape? Makes me think.

  • Or better yet, go register right now :).

    The one-letter domain names were gone a long time ago.

    I remember someone who was tracking the registered two-letter domain names with a 26x26 matrix... it filled up sometime last year.

    On to the threes...


    P.S. They oughta allow ALL the 7-bit ascii characters in domain names. Even "/" and "." if they are properly escaped. Then we could all go to http://www.\/\

  • Marketers have a funny way of thinking.

    No kidding. My pet hate is the way they squish words together. I know that the planet is in danger of overcrowding, but still there's no need to go writing things like LloydsPharmacy, BestSave, or my (least) favourite to date: HarveyJamesEarlSolicitors

  • It is years behind IE in most people's minds and even in Netscape supports minds the browser is slow and bloated. They'll probably never catch up

    Unless they start over again from scratch and make a lean, fast engine that's built for standards compliance from the very beginning.

    Oh, that's what Mozilla is.

    You'll see a close race again once iPlanet Communicator 5.0 (or whatever they call it) is released.


  • Suns in another interesting pickle where they have invested a lot of time and effort and money into Java, and it hasn't taken off and become the defacto standard the way they assumed it would. I'd guess the powers-that-be at Sun behind the iPlanet stuff and the powers-that-be at Sun behind Java probably don't see eye-to-eye on this one.

    Sun's contributions to Apache and other opensource packages competing with Netscape... er... iPlanet products only serves to hurt the needs of AOL as a company to have their iPlanet products more widely used. I'd be wary of the intentions of a company that has a vested interest in their proprietary systems being more robust and higher performing than the systems they're "contributing" to. If upper management keep their fingers out of it, it'll probably be a good thing, but until the code from Sun is Open Source with a non-revokable license, its all still up in the air.

    The Jakarta site says that the referance code from Sun has not yet been delivered to the Jakarta team. Has that in fact changed?

    Mozilla is a more respectable corporate opensource contribution, because they gave the code from the start, and continue to spend a lot of money developing it. AOL has stated plainly that they're doing it because they want the rendering engine and other components for Navigator 5/AOL 5. But everyone else makes out too, and they've never tried to make Navigator commercial-only. Any contributions from Netscape and Sun to other opensource projects are being done for different reasons -- because they can't use the progress made in them in their closed-source applications.

    Throwing $$$ around to unseat Microsoft (a lot of the motivation, I'd guess) will only go so far. I feel uneasy about Sun's motivations in the iPlanet/AOL/Netscape arrangement, particularly given their contributions to supporting Linux, Apache, etc. They're a company that has built a business model out of changing directions faster than the earlier poor decisions can sink the company.
  • Will there be iPlanet for Linux?

    Who cares! Mozilla will always be there (thanks NS developers!). It was never "Netscape" anyhow. Underneath all that corporate BS was the true browser name.


  • Well suckier yet is what Netscape is going to call their release of Mozilla. It's not going to be Communicator or even Navigator 5. The amazing marketing folks have come up with (wait for it)
    Netscape 2000 spring edition
    Assuming they get it out the door by March 2000. Marketing's reasoning? Who knows but they say what you have, millions of people, blah blah blah. It just seems so me too'ish when compared to M$ products.

    The beatings will continue until morale imporves.
  • Three years ago everything had to be e-this or e-that. eCommerce, eZines, eBusiness.

    Today, everything is i. iMac, iToaster, iBook, iPlanet.

    I predict that in three years everything will be o. Well have oData and oMarkets and oTaxes.

    Just as in the previous cases, very few people will actually remember what the prepended vowel is supposed to mean. But they'll buy the product anyway.

    -- The oG (tm)
  • It's evolution in action. What I long for is the day that we get "And Sometimes 'Y'" prefixing everything. I'm there already. Sometimes I look at my blue screen and say "yMicrosoft."
  • Millions of people still consider Netscape Navigator to be the One True Browser, and think of it as "Netscape" (not "Navigator" or "Communicator").

    Maybe they are making the change precisely because people associate "Netscape" with the web browser, and not any of their other software. Therefore, they chose a new name for the other software to reduce confusion.

  • (glibc2, I guess), and add more fonts to your system. This will take care of most of "deficiencies", you see.
  • Unless they replace the Netscape folks (PHBs) as well as the name, people will still be burned.

    my two coppers
  • Am I the only one who's noticed that SlashDot is completely dominated by corporate news these days?
    Perhaps it's because the Net (along with the rest of society) is becoming dominated by corporate interests?

    Am I the only one to whom this seems obvious?

    Even /. has been bought out... (Not a slam or a flame, just an observation.)

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • you're probably thinking of steve champeon. he has an interesting little project [] tracking the internet namespace.

    lights mean high tech...
  • InterNic lists all the one-letter domain names, including, as being "Reserved Domain," reserved to the USC Information Sciences Institute since December 1, 1993. Any ideas why?
  • Considering that the browser market targets desktop machines, whereas the Unix market targets server machines, the fact that IE 5 is superior to Netscape 4 should sell millions and millions of client OSes (read: Windows), whereas the fact that Unix is more stable than NT should sell thousands and thousands of server OSes (read: Unices like BSD). Clue: the sales money gets made in the volume market. The service/maintanence money gets made in the server market. Conclusion: there's money for everybody (but always second-place apps for those who run the server OS on their desktop)
  • The following appeared on Monday :-

    AOL Uses Netscape Name For New Free Net Service

    19 July - DN Wire -- America Online is to launch its own free Internet access service next month in a bid to win back custom from no-charge rival Freeserve.
    The new service - to be called Netscape Online - will be offered alongside AOL's subscription-based AOL and CompuServe services.

    AOL is hoping that the introduction of Netscape Online won't dent revenue from the other AOL services because all three are aimed at different markets.

    Whereas AOL is targeted at a family audience, and CompuServe business users, Netscape Online is expected to prove popular with young, male and single cost-conscious consumers.

    While unlikely to offer the same range of services as AOL and CompuServe, Netscape Online will include America Online's popular instant messenger and buddy list chat features.

    The introduction of the new service should help AOL fight back against no-subs giant Freeserve. Freeserve has attracted 1.32-million active users since its launch last September. AOL currently has about a million members.

    Although software company Netscape - which AOL bought for $4-billion this January - will provide the brand-name and look for Netscape Online, the full extent of Netscape's involvement in the running of the new service is not yet known.

    So there are some last bastions of the netscape name.
  • iPlanet isn't just a fancy brand, it's the name of Sun project that has been going on for a while. Their big idea is something their Power Client VP referred to as "web tone" - that when you pick up a telephone handset, the dial tone is taken for granted, it's so reliable and ubiquitous, and that's what Sun want the "web top" (your vitrual desktop) to be - a complete working environment, delivered securely to wherever you are in the world using a standard web browser + some fancy app server technology on the middle tier. Most likely Oracle technology on the back end, since Sun and Oracle are very firmly in bed these days (as anyone who attended the iDevelop conferences will tell you). Renaming the products is just bringing them into alignment with Sun's own conventions.

    More info Sun's web site [].

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Am I the only one who's noticed that SlashDot is completely dominated by corporate news these days? Look at the articles posted here today, for example:

    1) QNX
    2) NSI
    3) AOL/Sun/Netscape
    4) Game Consoles (Sony/Nintendo,...)
    5) AOL
    6) Telstra
    7) Westwood
    8) USPS
    9) Perl (finally!)
    10) WalMart


    One, or arguably 2 articles out of 10 dealing with something *other* than what the corporations are up to. What I want to know about is what *we* up to -- where are the stories about the latest developments in free software projects like GNOME or KDE, etc. I'm sick of seeing stories about the latest IPO from some tech-related corporation. I want "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters", not news for businessmen.

    A disgruntled long-time fan of Slashdot.
  • Communicator 5.0 (due out in december) is the successor to 4.6, as is being developed internally by Netscape/AOL. Mozilla, the open source project/browser, is a separate deal, and AFAIK doesn't have a target release date yet (although of course the milestone snapshots are already available).

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp