Netscape bolstered its reinvention as an enterprise software supplier with the acquisition of a server software house last week. The company agreed to buy Java server specialist Kiva Software, in a stock deal worth $179.5 million (#106 million). The acquisition forms part of Netscape's strategy to attack the enterprise market where Microsoft is considered weak. A company statement said Kiva adds another significant piece to Netscape's extranet strategy, allowing businesses to extend applications and information resources beyond the LAN. "We have changed and I'm amazed at how quickly we have reinvented ourselves," said Steve Voller, Netscape's UK managing director. "We're not running scared (of Microsoft). You have to acknowledge Microsoft's dominance on the desktop. You've only got to look at recent investigations by the DoJ and the EC to see that it is prepared to protect that dominance at any cost," he said. According to one analyst, Netscape, which is bitterly contesting recent data about its browser market share, has no choice but to consolidate its efforts in the enterprise market. Mike Welch, a senior consultant at industry analyst Inteco, said: "Microsoft will be pushing NT hard next year and over a period of time, more people will move to NT on the desktop, perhaps with Internet Information Server and Internet Explorer thrown in. In other words, it's bound to take people away from Netscape on the desktop." He added: "Netscape's no stranger to the enterprise, though, and I think this is just part of its general plan to be strong in the enterprise market." Jim Barksdale, Netscape's president and CEO, spelled out his company's plans to PC Week. "Netscape is moving further into the enterprise applications business, where Microsoft does not compete," he claimed. Netscape: report bashing Last week Netscape lashed out at the survey methodology by Dataquest, released a fortnight ago, which showed its browser market share dropping. Netscape claims Dataquest's methodology is flawed. The battered company produced its own version, calculating browser usage through four Internet search engines, giving it a market share of 67% up 10% on Dataquest's findings. Dataquest's findings were based on hits at one search engine, Digital's AltaVista.
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