NZ Sun distributor set to push Netscape products

Netscape's software products are soon to be marketed here by Sun Microsystems distributor SolNet, as part of the Sun-Netscape alliance struck in the wake of America Online's purchase of Netscape. Netscape distribution and marketing in New Zealand has frequently been uncertain, and it is very likely to benefit from an association with SolNet.

Netscape's software products are soon to be marketed here by Sun Microsystems distributor SolNet, as part of the Sun-Netscape alliance struck in the wake of America Online's purchase of Netscape.

The alliance, described yesterday by SolNet managing director Murray McNae as "a very significant agreement for the market" has been handled differently in different regions.

In Asia-Pacific, it is represented by Netscape Australia, which survived Netscape's purge of its Asian offices shortly before its acquisition by AOL.

Netscape Australia's distribution and marketing in New Zeakand has frequently been uncertain, and it is very likely to benefit from an association with SolNet, which has a close relationship with many large corporates such as Telecom and government agencies such as Inland Revenue, Social Welfare and ACC.

Overseas reports suggest the Netscape server offerings, including a number of e-commerce products, will go out under the joint iPlanet banner established by the alliance. The way Netscape's browser will be marketed and supported has yet to be determined, says McNae.

McNae also said that if AOL decides to expand its Australian business into New Zealand, SolNet would be a technology partner, "but I have no knowledge of that yet".

He expected an announcement on the marketing of the Netscape products within two week.

McNae also announced SolNet's annual results yesterday, showing another substantial advance on the previous year, with overall revenues up 38% to $76 million, consisting of product revenues of $50m (up 39%) and services and other revenues of $26m (up 30%). The company says it has achieved average compound growth of 33% over the past five years.

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