Netscape is raising the price of its server software by up to 30% as its major competitors cut theirs.
The price of SuiteSpot will go up on 1 April, when version 3.0 of the product is scheduled for release. UK pricing has not been revealed yet, but in the US SuiteSpot will go up 25% from $3,995 (#2,497) to $4,995.
Enterprise Server will rise 30% from $995 to $1,295, and the Netscape Communicator client, which is the new version of Navigator with a variety of added features, will cost $10 more at $59.
Justifying the price rises, Netscape's UK product marketing manager Sam Sethi pointed out that the new version of the suite contains four more elements than its predecessor: Calendar, Media, Certificate and Directory Servers. Existing components such as Enterprise, Proxy, News, Mail and Catalog Servers have also been upgraded for the new release.
Sethi claimed Netscape's products still work out cheaper than both Microsoft's and Lotus'.
"We're setting a new industry trend," he quipped. "We're not going to give our software away like Microsoft does."
Currently, Microsoft bundles Internet Information Server free with Windows NT 4.0. The Internet Explorer browser is available free from its Web site.
Ken Fraser, a principle Internet analyst at Dataquest, doubts Netscape will lose out by the price rise. "Netscape's position is sufficiently strong that it ought to be able to get away with it," he remarked. "Yes, it's bucking a trend in the market, but these prices are so low as to be irrelevant in the decision-making process."
Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, said: "What we're hearing from customers is that product price at this point for a major rollout is not really an issue. The issue is, can I get it to work and can I get the support I need?"
He added that service and support have been improved for the forthcoming version, with five new levels of support agreements. The company has enlisted Hewlett-Packard, KPMG Peat Marwick and Cambridge Technology Partners to provide enterprise customers with consultancy and support round the clock.
Meanwhile, on its Web site Netscape is encouraging users to buy the old version of SuiteSpot while they still can. "Buy now and save $1,400" visitors to the site are urged.
- See Leader page 18
Netscape: pushing up prices
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