Netscape has repackaged its own Internet tools and those inherited through acquisitions and repositioned itself as a Web-based groupware and email provider. It has also made a U-turn in supporting Microsoft products and technology including Microsoft Office and ActiveX.
Said Jim Barksdale, Netscape?s president and chief executive officer: "We?ve gone beyond the browser. In 1997 we will integrate the Web with the functionality richness of email and groupware on client/server."
By early next year users will be able to buy a range of client and server products to build Intranets. The client products include Navigator 4.0, the latest release of its browser, an HTML authoring software, a facility to enable users simultaneously share information and talk to co-workers on the Internet, as well as a calendar and a network management module.
The SuiteSpot server range includes servers that support each of the client products. It also features a discussion server which allows encrypted information sharing among workgroups, which it inherited from its acquisition of Collabra last year. There is also a media server for delivering audio content on Web sites and Intranets.
Support for Microsoft was of little surprise to industry analysts despite Netscape?s previous vow that it would stay true to Java. "If you?re a company the size of Netscape you can?t believe you can kick Microsoft?s butt," said Ahim Pal, a senior consultant at analysts Ovum.
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