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Tuesday, September 29, 1998 Published at 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK


Explorer passes Navigator

AOL prefers Explorer and RealPlayer in its latest version

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

Microsoft has finally overtaken Netscape in their battle of the browsers, courtesy of America Online.

The latest survey carried out by the International Data Corporation suggests Netscape Navigator slipped from a 50.5% market share at the end of 1997 to 41.5% by the middle of 1998.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer rose nearly 5% to 43.8%, with more than 16 of those percentage points coming from America Online bundling Explorer with its software.

How Netscape lost the war

A Netscape employee has said software deficiencies were the reason its browser was not taken up by AOL, according to a new book on Netscape's battle with Microsoft.

The Washington Post has suggested the book could undermine the government's contention in its monopoly case that Netscape lost out on the deal because Microsoft offered AOL a place on the Windows desktop.

Netscape's browser has received another knock with a 20-year-old computer consultant discovering a security flaw.

Dan Brumleve wrote a program enabling him to read the cache of visited web pages stored by Internet users on their hard drives. The company has promised a quick fix for the problem.

Netscape, along with chip maker Intel, is announcing it is investing in Red Hat, which has developed a version of Linux, the operating system seen as a possible threat to Microsoft's Windows.

But in a setback for Microsoft, AOL has decided to include Real Networks' Realplayer for streaming multimedia on the CD-Rom for its latest 4.0 software.

RealPlayer is in a similar battle for market dominance with Microsoft's Media Player.

The latest version of RealPlayer, with Intel technology inside following a deal announced earlier this month, is now available for download at its Website.

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