Netscape has unveiled a range of future product plans aimed at out-manoeuvring its rivals in the cutthroat groupware market.
The company is planning to ship a new browser codenamed Mercury and a server program codenamed Apollo, as well as a visual development tool known as Palomar, all due Q1/Q2 1998.
Using the new software, Netscape claims developers will be able to create Crossware - Internet applications that run across networks, operating systems and platforms. The company said that over 40 vendors, including Sun and Oracle, were backing its new Crossware standards drive.
"Crossware is aimed at businesses that want to extend their intranets to take in customers and suppliers," said Eric Broussard, Marketing Manager for Netscape Europe. "This is really just an extension of what we've been doing over the past 12 months, except now we're linking corporations up to extranets."
According to Broussard, the Mercury client suite will enhance Netscape Communicator, which is still in beta and set for release this spring with new extranet enabling features.
Broussard claimed a new method for viewing information sources called Hypertree will enable users to access any type of application on the Net, on a hard drive or other sources from a single user interface, whether they are in or outside the corporation.
Other client features include a universal in-box called Compass that uses intelligent agent technology to sort and prioritise all incoming email, voice mail, fax and pushed information, and a new engine codenamed Gemini for executing multimedia applications.
Palomar, which is scheduled to ship this summer, is a visual rapid application development tool for creating applications that can support all the functionality on current and future client/server platforms.
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