AOL has just released the first beta of Netscape 8.
Unfortunately it only runs on Windows machines, which means I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to check it out. It can use either the IE rendering engine or the Firefox (Gecko) engine, but I’m not sure which one it defaults to. I mentioned a while back that I was wary of the option to switch the rendering engine as most users will have no idea what it actually does even if they do delve into the options and find it there.
They also seem to have completely ignored any usability guidelines for Windows applications and gone with a non-standard application window layout. The menu bar is shifted to the left, and there is an amazing amount of clutter around the toolbars and tabs (View Screenshot).
This article even mentions how they “reduce browser clutter” by “including a ‘Multibar’ feature that combines up to 10 customizable toolbars into single buttons.” How they decided that giving users ‘up to 10 customizable toolbars’ would ‘reduce browser clutter’ is beyond me.