Netscape has teamed up with search engine pioneer Yahoo in an effort to beef up the search capabilities of its Communicator Web browser. Meanwhile, Yahoo rivals Excite and Infoseek announced moves of their own to differentiate their offerings in this cut-throat market.
The company hopes to steal a march on arch-rival Microsoft in the browser wars, by offering customers using its browser or hitting its home page an Internet directory. Based on a Yahoo navigation service, this will showcase popular sites on the Web.
Yahoo is believed to be paying Netscape up to $30 million over the next two years to set up the co-branded guide, due to be ready in July, which will offer users information on eight areas of reference including business, finance, computers and travel.
The deal is a boost for Yahoo in the search engine market where competition is fierce and players are forced to jockey for position by constantly improving features or partnering with vendors.
Rivals Infoseek and Excite have also been enhancing their offerings and diversifying business models in the fight for survival. Infoseek stepped into the software business this week with the launch of Ultraseek, a packaged version of the Infoseek engine optimised for Intranets. It will sell for $995 for a server version and is targeted at large companies requiring better search functions for their Intranets or public Web sites.
Excite has said it wants to offer 'push' channels in an effort to attract targeted advertising. The company will roll out 14 channels in the next few weeks, beginning with popular channel topics such as Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Business & Investing and Computing & Internet. Initial content for each channel will come from existing Excite content like Live!, Citynet, Webcrawler, Chat and Newstracker, but the company hopes to attract other content providers to offer more specialised information.
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