''HP believes in giving the customer choice. This decision is reflective of the momentum of users in the marketplace who are choosing to have more than one browser on their desktop,'' said Nick Labosky, HP's director of worldwide consumer PC Beyond the Box group. ''We found that the Netscape browser has an advantage of hosting numerous security features while also giving our customers dual rendering browser engines.''
HP said it will offer customers a simple process to make Netscape the default browser instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
The latest version of AOL's Netscape 8 browser shipped earlier this year; it's based on the open source Firefox browser. To better address security concerns that have plagued the market-dominant Internet Explorer, Netscape 8's software engine can switch between the IE and Firefox rendering engines.
Because most Web pages are designed for IE, Netscape 8.0 will view trusted sites using the IE rendering engine by default. Three times a day, Netscape 8 downloads from AOL servers a list of Web sites known to be trusted or untrustworthy, as verified by the non-profit TRUSTe organization, VeriSign or ParetoLogic. If it gets to a site that hasn't been verified or is blacklisted, Netscape will switch over to the Firefox engine.