America Online won't be issuing the first beta of Netscape 8 as expected this week,
pushing the public release back until March. The company says it needs more time to
prepare its revived browser, which is based upon Mozilla's Firefox code base and
focuses on protecting users from malicious Web sites.
In January, the Netscape team released a minor update to its prototype Web browser
that brought the code base up to Firefox 1.0. Netscape, which has been available to a
limited group of testers since November, was originally built atop Firefox 0.9.3.
As reported by BetaNews, AOL tapped Mercurial Communications to help rebuild its
Netscape browser brand early last year. The company hopes to build upon the success
of Firefox and bring its users a safer browsing experience under the familiar Netscape
AOL had scheduled a February 18 beta to open Netscape's doors to the public, but
development is taking longer than planned. The delay is unrelated to any specific bug or
problem, sources said.