Netscape lands browser deal with HP
According to eWeek, Netscape has landed a distribution deal with HP that will guarantee Netscape browser distribution across all HP and Compaq product lines. This is a major development for Netscape, as it marks the company's first major OEM distribution win since the late 1990s. Netscape 8.0 is based on the Firefox code base (the current version, 188.8.131.52, includes all bug fixes through Firefox 1.06) and can be downloaded here.
What isn't clear at this point is whether or not Netscape can re-claim any significant portion of its once-massive market share. The growth of Firefox over the past 12 months has clearly demonstrated a market for IE alternatives, but general perception of Netscape has shifted as the company slid from segment leader, to also-ran, and into near-total obscurity. With Firefox establishing itself as the primary IE alternative of choice, and Opera still running in the background, it's simply not clear where Netscape 8 fits in the browser market going forward—or if it fits at all.