A few noteworthy points in that article at The Inquirer . . .
First, apparently the anti-spyware component of Netscape 8.1, classes some legit apps as spyware:
The spyware scanner showed eMule, VNC server and VNC viewer (which I
installed myself) among the list of "spyware". Sorry, but those are not.
These are legitimate applications that I installed myself.
At least standalone anti-spyware apps such as Spybot S+D and Ad-Aware usually get it right!
Netscape 8.1 is still restricted to Windows users only . . . Nothing for Mac or Linux users:
No Mac OS X, - much less Linux - version: One would think that with MS
halting development of IE for Mac, Netscape would use this opportunity
to lure some users to their offering. No such 'revolutionary' thoughts
allowed at AOL's management positions, it seems.
And as for one of the gratuitous bundled apps offered as part of the Netscape 8.1 package:
If you choose to install "Rhapsody" from Real Networks, the installer
advises you that it needs (get this) 380MB of hard disk space.
Sheesh, good, full-blown 32-bit operating systems like OS/2 Warp
managed to fit on less space!. Thank the heavens it's OPTIONAL.
Unfortunately, I can imagine that quite a lot of average (not tech savvy) computer users that
download/install Netscape 8.1, will just click Next - Next - Next ... and end up installing this
item anyway, even though all they want is a browser, not an online music store. If they
want to buy music online, there are far better options
And here's a bit of unnecessary hand holding by AOL/Netscape, that's more of an insult to the
intelligence of the end user of Netscape 8.1, than actually something that useful or helpful.
The program tries to force the user into the user interface. As if
the Microsoft Office "Animated Paper Clip" fiasco wasn't enough!.
You type "google.com" and a large balloon box pops up telling
you - in more polite terms, of course - "hey stupid, there's a
search box right here". Well, it happens to me that I like
. GO AWAY, you ugly "asistant"!.
And here's one point from the article that I agree with entirely:
I think Netscape 8.1 is an evolution of the path started with 8.0.
A path that seems to target "dumb and dumber" internet users that
are scared to death to surf the interweb and who have little knowledge.
And the next point raising an issue that I considered the possiblity of a few months ago:
This is very different from the core user base that Netscape 7.x enjoyed.
AOL/Netscape would have a surprise if they resurrect the 7.x series,
updating it and basing it on the new "SeaMonkey 1.0" internet
suite, which is Mozilla's successor.
A certain manager once hinted about the possibility of resurrecting
the Netscape 7.x line. Well, with SeaMonkey 1.0 already in beta,
what a better time to please the "power users" than starting now?.
That's certainly worth considering. But I doubt AOL/Netscape will bother. But I wouldn't rule it
out altogether. Since SeaMonkey 1.0 is still in beta, and development work towards "1.0 final"
is progressing somewhat slower than when the Suite was the flagship product from Mozilla,
maybe AOL/Netscape might start work on Netscape 9, before SeaMonkey 1.0 goes gold.
If there's any likelyhood of a Netscape internet suite built upon SeaMonkey ... how about . . .
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.2; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051219 SeaMonkey/1.0b
SeaMonkey = Swiss Army Knife: It's versatile, reliable, and contains useful tools.
Windows Internet Explorer = Old Swiss Cheese: Full of holes, and it stinks!