Steve Case, CEO of AOL, used his keynote speech at Internet World, 2000 to launch Netscape 6, the new Gecko-based Web browser from Netscape.

A beta version of Netscape 6 is available for download now.

Netscape 6 is a cross-platform, cross-device, open-source, customizable browser that costs nothing. It has got wide support for Web standards, including XML, HTML 4.0, CSS1, W3C DOM Level 0 and 1, JavaScript 1.5 and RDF.

The browser runs on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Netscape 6 is also being ported to other operating systems, including Solaris, HP and BeOS, and is set to feature in set-top TV boxes, especially those built on a LINUX kernel.

The browser is based on contributions from Mozilla.org, the organization that manages Netscape’s open source initiative for Internet developers. Building on the open source code, Netscape 6 was created with Netscape’s new Gecko browsing engine software.

Now with added My Sidebar Other features of the new Netscape Web browser include My Sidebar. This configurable area can be set to keep an eye on news reports, stock portfolios, and give access to AOL Instant Messenger. An auction manager is also promised.

The Search field is now included in the main browser toolbar, and doubles as the Web address field. The search facility is powered by Google.

Enhanced mail Netscape 6 includes an integrated mail client, this can deal with email, instant messaging, AOL Mail and multiple email accounts. The Address Book has also been redesigned to be easier to navigate, and a new email address collection feature has been added. The email message screen also indicates whether the sender or recipient of an email message is online, so a user can choose to reply immediately or at a later time.

The mail client feature supports multiple POP, IMAP or SMTP newsgroup accounts - and also supports AOL mail. AOL is the parent company of Netscape.

Packed with features Other features include a Password Manager and Cookie Manager. A Themes feature allows the browser’s appearance to be customized.

Sun’s Java 2, Platform special edition is also supported. This lets users run fully-featured applets on Web sites. It will also integrate with Apple’s MRJ (Mac OS Runtime Java).

Another enhancement promised in the final version is a Netscape 6 AutoTranslate feature, which will translate foreign language pages into the preferred language of the user. Net2Phone is also supported.

Netscape 6 Preview Release 1 is available for download now.