PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

Monday October 19th, 1998

Joel Caris writes in to say, "This link is to a First Look of Communicator 4.5 from PC Magazine. A nice review. Might be of interest.

On a side note, those that have checked out the front page of Netcenter today will see that Netscape is finally giving decent promotion to the browser. There is a prominent link (red, to set it apart) and the Download button has been changed to make it clear you can download 4.5 by clicking it. Hopefully, the links will stay up until 5.0 comes out.

In my opinion, Netscape has in no way been promoting the browser enough. I hope to see a strong push and advertising campaign behind 4.5."

#1 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Narbey Derbekyan

Monday October 19th, 1998 8:23 PM

They should promote version 5 ala AOL: a freakin' cd in every magazine. A stand at computer stores with free CD's would be nice too. Make it eazy for people to pick it up and install. Downloading over the modem is a barrier when your OS comes with a browser from day one. One of the reasons startbucks is so successful is because they are there. Around every corner and neighbourhood. Netscape should do the same. CD's are cheap.

To my knowledge Netscape has not done this, if they have please correct me. Even if they have in the past, they should really step it up.



#2 Netscape Promotion

by Joel Caris

Monday October 19th, 1998 8:41 PM


As far as I know, Netscape hasn't done that. And I think they should. It's an excellent idea.

In fact, forget just packaging the browser--package a whole service. People may not be as interested in a browser, but if you tell them it will come with plenty of free info and services, then they're even more likely to take it.

I was thinking that Netscape should put together a small CD package that is much like AOL's CD package. Play up all the FREE content that can be accessed through Netcenter. While Netcenter isn't the perfect portal, there certainly is some good content available.

So play up that content like AOL does. Tell them the CD includes everything needed to get to that content. Then install the browser, and give them a choice to sign up for the Netscape-Qwest internet access if they don't already have a dial up.

Set up displays everywhere, as AOL does. Work to get the CDs thrown in with all computer purchases at stores like CompUSA, Circuit City, Future Shop, etc.

It may not be the easiest plan to execute, but it could have huge benefits. And it could definitely stop the eroding market share.

Joel Caris

#3 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by george

Monday October 19th, 1998 9:37 PM

Ya, Netscape should put Communicator CDs everywhere!

Also AOL users will probably use IE that is integrated into AOL. I think Netscape should make a version that will replace IE for AOL and let people chose whether they want Netscape or IE. Right now AOL users have no choice. They have to have IE integrated into AOL.

I think the CD should have some sort of movie showing people all the awesome feature Netcenter gives. Once Netscape gets chat rooms, java games, ect...Then Netscape could tell people they can play Chess or Checker for free.

AOL charges like $1.95 per hour to play games on AOL!

Also which computer makers pre-install Netscape? I think IBM does, but who else?

#4 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Stephen

Tuesday October 20th, 1998 6:13 PM

MacAddict magazine's CD-ROM does include both Navigator and Comminicator. They have also recently stopped carrying IE. This is a big win for my little corner of the market.

#5 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by george

Tuesday October 20th, 1998 7:31 PM

Stephen, i take it you use a Mac?

I was wondering how N4.5 ran on a Mac?


#6 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Jim

Tuesday October 20th, 1998 11:09 PM

The greater barrier to promoting Navigator or Communicator thru CD-giveaways is that it costs enormous amounts of money, and in addition, there is not guarantee that people will switch over.

A service such as AOL, which bundles a browser with the program, would fare much better. In addition, persuading the computer manufacturers to put Netscape onto the computer will prove to be a much more effective method of marketing.

Since they are not charging for the browser, they do not have revenue coming back to them to fund such advertising. IE, on the other hand, is supposedly free of charge. Though the unintegrated version of IE is available for download for no charge, the cost of IE is built into the cost of the operating system. It is, after all, now an "integral" part of Win98.

That is another point I don't understand - if the browser is an essential part of the operating system, which I interpret to mean that one cannot function without the other, how is it that you can download an individual copy of IE and still have it run on, say Win95?

#7 Re: No push until 5.0?

by Jason Lim

Wednesday October 21st, 1998 7:11 AM

I personally don't think Netscape will push its browser until sometime in 5.0. I am still using Outlook for my mail processing, because it is just far superior, with handling of mutliple POP accounts (and intelligent switching between them). Why netscape did this i do not know. But i guess that is why they aren't promoting it very far now.

#8 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Steve Parkinson

Wednesday October 21st, 1998 11:04 AM

I think 4.5 handles multiple POP accounts. You can either have: 1 IMAP account, OR multiple POP accounts. You can't enable POP and IMAP at the same time for a single profile. This confused me for a while since I always run IMAP, I couldn't see where you were supposed to pick more than one POP accounts.

#9 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Joel Caris

Wednesday October 21st, 1998 4:11 PM

No, Steve, it's the other way around. 4.5 can handle multiple IMAP accounts, but only one POP account. This is definitely a shortcoming that I hope will be addressed in 5.0.

#10 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Jay Polk

Wednesday October 21st, 1998 8:09 PM

I downloaded and installed Communicator 4.5 last night. So far, its been really fast and I've got a 28.8 connection. The pages seem to load a lot quicker than 4.07 and I appreciate the personal menu bar settings at the top. I can't wait for the 5.0 browser; it should be awesome.

#11 Re:PC Magazine's First Look At Communicator 4.5

by Andrew

Thursday October 22nd, 1998 9:56 PM

I downloaded 4.5 for Mac last weekend. It *does* seem faster and I like being able to download news and still use the main navigator window (something I couldn't do in 4.05+). The mailcenter interface is better too.

OTOH, 4.5 has no real features I want. I'm a developer and I don't care about Netscape tying Navigator closer to Netcenter and I don't use 'doze so I don't care about the integration (though I love the idea). I want Netscape to fix CSS, the redraw bug, and provide a font embedding tool as was mentioned way back in 4.0PR. yeah yeah 5.0, but when?

For Netcenter they need make the site navigable. Its impossible to find anything twice. A keyword only search engine sux. I can't limit searches to a single language. I can't find any mention of "CSS" on the site (!) and I get tons of 404 errors. I have to search for the Netcenter site search!

Continue to promote the browser prominently. Push it with developers too! A lot of us *want* Netscape to succeed but you give us no support.