BT, MCI and Microsoft are ganging up on Netscape in the intranet market.
The two telecoms companies, who are planning a merger, have teamed up with the software giant to create an alliance providing companies with a one-stop shop for intranet solutions. The agreement will take full effect from early next year, and will go ahead whether the merger does or not.
Customers of BT and MCI will be offered intranet services based on Microsoft products, including Internet Explorer and the company's internet servers such as the Commercial Internet System.
There are two parts to the alliance's project. First will be a range of solutions for businesses wishing to build and manage their own intranets.
Under this scheme, customers will be offered all the necessary hardware, software and communications services from a single source of supply. The second scheme will be an intranet service fully managed and maintained by the partners, and tailored to the needs of global intranet customers.
But Netscape declared itself "under no threat" from the trio's plans.
The company already has a similar arrangement with Cable and Wireless.
"We're not quaking in our boots," said Netscape's European marketing manager Paul Ayres. "The market is so huge, Microsoft could be massively successful and still leave plenty of room for Netscape."
Ayres was scathing of the alliance's plans to sell intranet services to corporates. "It's preposterous to think that you can waltz into a company and say we're BT, we handle your connectivity, so take Microsoft products," he scoffed. "The customer makes the decision, and universally what customers are demanding for their intranets is Netscape."
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