The Internet applications market is moving quickly and serious players like Netscape Corp and Concentric Network Corp are battling for space with their new Internet-based service, the Netscape Virtual Office. Available from August, it enables customers to host private Intranet services accessible from anywhere on the Internet.
Netscape Virtual Office is a private online service that can be shared with co-workers and specified users. Netscape says the Virtual Office serves as an entry point to online information management services like email accounts, internal and external Web sites, discussion forums and project collaboration.
Users need Internet access and Netscape Communicator client software to create the Virtual Office. They specify basic information, project parameters, a list of people who may access the Virtual Office, and credit card information for payment. Once these specifications are set, the Virtual Office is configured automatically, and members are added or deleted as required.
Using Netscape Communicator and the Netscape SuiteSpot server for messaging and collaboration applications, the Office is location and platform independent. 128-bit security is bundled with Communicator, and it supports digital identification as well as the option to encrypt all e-mails.
Mike Homer, Netscape?s senior vice president of marketing, commented on future plans, saying: ?The Virtual Office provides a smooth upgrade path when [users] are ready to create and host their own Internet and Intranet sites.?
Additional components may include accounting and financials applications, diary and conferencing, personnel, job postings, timesheet tracking, and billing and sales.
The service will be accessible through the Netscape home page located at www.netscape.com. No definite costs yet, Virtual Office is are expected to come in below $30 per month plus a minimal charge per member.
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