Contradicting widespread reports that Netscape would unbundle their Navigator browser from the bloated Communicator suite, company spokesman Dave Bottoms said there were no such plans.

"I think people were speculating and trying to frame some quotes around it," he said.

He did, however, confirm that Netscape is considering such a split for a future version of Communicator. The full version of Communicator requires an 18 MB download, far greater than the 3.5 MB of the previous version of Navigator.

In a total contradiction of this news, however, is Sam Sethi, a Netscape marketing manager who reports that Netscape *will* release a standalone Navigator 4.0 client on August 18. Sethi says the standalone browser will come in at a 4-5 MB download and include Netcaster, Netscape's "push" component. It is expected to cost $29-39, whereas the full Communicator suite costs $59-89.

"You'll see Netscape coming back hard in the consumer war," he said. "The whole aim is to get back the hearts and minds of consumers. If we're going to win the server war we have to win the browser war."

So which is it? Netscape's home page offers no clue at this time.

In related news, Netscape announced that a new release of Communicator, version 4.02, will be released this Friday to fix bugs and security holes. Additionally, Communicator 4.02 will include the final release version of Netcaster. Also, Navigator 3.03, which was released last week, is finally getting some play on the Netscape home page. According to the company, this new release of their previous-generation Web browser fixes the "tracker" security bug but offers no usability or interface changes over 3.02