Netscape is planning a strategy switch to grow its Internet business as its share of the browser market continues to shrink.
Netscape plans to hit on customers of its arch rival, Microsoft Internet Explorer - by increasing integration with the browser.
The company is not expecting IE users to turn around and change browser, but is hoping that it will be able to tempt them onto its online service once they are on the Internet.
Ever since Netscape started giving away its browser earlier this year, it has concentrated its energies on growing revenues from its Netcenter Web portal site. The revenue is based on the size of the audience, so it is critical to pull in users of non Netscape browsers.
Netcenter is a portal that offers news and a variety of content as well as links to information on Netscape products. Netscape now plans to offer Tune Up for IE, a software product that will offer the integration features of its Communicator browser to users of Microsoft Explorer.
At the end of October, Microsoft IE users will be able to download the Tune Up software, which will connect them directly into Netcenter features, including refined searching and email. Netscape is hoping Explorer users then like Communicator so much they will switch browser.
Analysts have welcomed Netscape?s show of strength against Microsoft, but they believe it will have to put a lot of marketing muscle into the strategy to make it work.
An IDC study this week showed that Microsoft Internet Explorer is fast moving in on Netscape?s browser market, taking 27.5 per cent against Netscape?s 43.8 per cent.
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