The WaSP Buzz points out that Netscape 8’s ability to switch between IE (Trident) and Mozilla Netscape (Gecko) isn’t exactly new: Maxthon apparently does this already. Maxthon is essentially Internet Explorer on steroids, and since I’d rather use Firefox anyway, I’ve never tried out any of the browsers that wrap a new user interface around IE.*

MozIE has a similar ability, but is aimed squarely at web designers: it gives you two panes, one embedding IE and one embedding Gecko, and synchronizes the views. You get a side-by-side comparison of how each browser will display your page.

And a few years ago, Konqueror could switch between KHTML and Gecko. I’m sure it still can, and the only reason I don’t have Mozilla in my list of alternate views anymore is that I didn’t install the relevant bindings, or Fedora Core stopped including them in their KDE packages.

Is it new? Of course not. But this is Netscape. It’s kind of like Apple deciding to ship all new Macs with Virtual PC and Windows XP pre-installed. Or maybe France making English a second official language.

*My main interest in trying out different browsers is to see how they display websites. In theory, Maxthon and any other browser of its ilk should be identical to IE in this respect.

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