Netscape seems to have abandoned the New Zealand market to other players with the termination of its distribution agreement with Com Tech.
Com Tech, which has just renamed its distribution business Express Data, stopped distributing Netscape products several weeks ago, around the same time as it picked up agencies for Security Dynamics and Citrix.
Country manager Ian Jansen says Netscape has lately been concentrating its resources in the larger markets it considers crucial to its future. "It's clear that Netscape has bigger fish to fry than in New Zealand," he says. He expects the Australian market, where Netscape has some significant government contracts, to remain important to the US company.
Jansen says Netscape's decision to make all its browsers available free had also cut the product range available for distribution. He says his company has had no qualms about the quality of Netscape's products, but its fortunes in the market were likely to be "less to do with technical excellence than marketing".
Xtra's OEM licence with Netscape is now the US company's most significant foothold in New Zealand.