As expected, Oracle announced at its high profile conference in California on Monday that it would bundle Netscape Navigator with its forthcoming network computer.
The two companies will integrate, market and distribute each other's products. Netscape Navigator will be incorporated with the Intel-based NC operating environment produced by Oracle's subsidiary Network Computer, which will ship its stripped-down personal computers and Internet access devices in mid-1997. The agreement establishes Navigator as Oracle's preferred browser, even over its own competing product, and it claimed it has no intentions of offering other third party browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.
For its part, Netscape will bundle Oracle Universal Server enterprise and workgroup databases with its commercial applications, on an exclusive basis. The databases will be integrated with the software Netscape offers to corporates, such as Merchant System - its electronic commerce package - Publishing System and the Community System workgroup software. Netscape has agreed to offer no non-Oracle software with these products.
Netscape wil also bring out Universal Server versions of its Livewire Pro and Suitespot server ranges early next year.
Justifying Oracle's decision to support only one client technology - seemingly breaking with its past open client principles - chief executive Larry Ellison commented: "The popularity of Netscape speaks for itself. While we are enormous proponents of supporting all client technologies, there are times when it is more appropriate to select a closer alliance partner. We've chosen to work with Netscape."
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