Netscape announces Navigator 4.0, assault on home market

Netscape has announced a stand-alone version of its popular Navigator 4.0 Internet browser, along with new marketing initiatives targeted at corporate and home users - including the lining up of major distribution partners around the world in an effort to place 100 million copies of the software with home users over the next 12 months.

Netscape has announced a stand-alone version of its popular Navigator 4.0 Internet browser, along with new marketing initiatives targeted at corporate and home users.

The US$39 Navigator 4.0, which features the company's recently launched content push technology Netcaster, is aimed mainly at cost-conscious home users.

"All this is, is unbundling of Navigator, one of four major elements in Communicator," says Mike Homer, Netscape's executive vice president of sales and marketing. "This product is not new in any sense, it's been present in Communicator 4.0 all along."

Netscape has lined up major distribution partners around the world in an effort to place 100 million copies of the software with home users over the next 12 months.

"It's carpet bombing of the home browser market," Homer says of the "Netscape Everywhere" home-marketing campaign.

In the US the Web browser will be distributed via home-user-oriented Internet service providers and regional Bell operators, as well as Sprint.

Outside of the US, Netscape will rely on companies such as Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, which is expected to sell 5 million copies of Navigator over 12 months, Homer says.

Hong Kong Telecom and Spain's Telefonica de Espana SA will also take part in the Netscape Everywhere campaign, Homer says.

In addition Netscape has announced a number of distribution, licensing and bundling agreements with a number of hardware vendors, which will sell the company's client products to corporate customers worldwide.

The most exhaustive agreement is one with IBM, which says it will deliver Navigator as an optional Web browser with its Lotus Notes groupware product and Lotus SmartSuite application suite, with its VisualAge for Java integrated development environment, its DB2 and DB2 Universal databases, and the IBM eNetwork Communications Suite of network access software. In addition Navigator will ship with IBM AIX and OS/2 operating systems; IBM PCs bundled with the IBM Internet Connection Service; with IBM network computers and with client access software for the IBM AS/400; and in future IBM S/390 mainframe software.

Other agreements include contracts with Digital, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Microsystems, Netscape says.

Netscape, in Mountain View, California, can be reached at http://home.netscape.com/.

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