Stepping up its efforts to get its Channel Definition Format (CDF) push technology adopted as a de facto standard, Microsoft has offered to make it available to arch browser rival Netscape for free.
However, Mike Po, a Netscape director, said Netscape's Netcaster push product already has the same functionality as CDF, so there is no need to adopt the rival technology. "We do the same thing with Java and HTML. No one is beating down our door to support CDF," he said.
Microsoft, whose CDF is supported by several push vendors including Pointcast, proposed this week that it should create add-ons for its specification to support Netcaster, without any need for changes to the Netcaster client itself. CDF will be part of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 browser, which should hit the market just ahead of Netcaster within the next quarter.
Microsoft said its offer to Netscape was designed to help channel publishers, who could author content once and push it out through any browser. However, its statement managed to take a swipe at its rival - publishers can "author once and run anywhere, degrading gracefully within the basic webcrawl functionality in Netcaster, or scaling up to the advanced push capabilities in IE 4.0," it said.
Po added that Netscape will wait until a push standard "emerges naturally" from a more mature market before supporting one technology.
He also pointed out that Microsoft had issued its statement to IT wire services before approaching Netscape itself.
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