Andreessen discloses plan to lure Microsoft employees

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and senior vice-president of technology at Netscape Communications, has disclosed that Netscape is formulating a plan to set up a remote development centre in the vicinity of Microsoft's headquarters in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Washington, specifically to attract Microsoft developer talent.

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and senior vice-president of technology at Netscape Communications, has disclosed that Netscape is formulating a plan to set up a remote development centre in the vicinity of Microsoft's headquarters in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Washington, specifically to attract Microsoft developer talent.

Andreessen, speaking in an interview with Computerworld Hong Kong last Friday, said the plan was prompted by the difficulty of attracting Microsoft developers to Silicon Valley, where housing costs are high and traffic is a nightmare.

"We hire people out of Microsoft quite a bit. The biggest problem in hiring people out of Microsoft is not attracting them to Netscape - it's getting them to move out of the Seattle area," Andreessen said. "So we will do a remote development centre at some point within the next 12 months, which [is something] we haven't done so far. And there's a good chance it would be in Seattle, for that reason. There's quite a pool of technical talent there."

Andreessen made the comments while in Hong Kong to launch Communicator 4.0, Netscape's new email, groupware and browser package, and the SuiteSpot 3.0 server package, which will ship next month.

Quentin Gallivan, Netscape's Asia/Pacific vice-president and general manager, said Chinese language support for the products will be released within 90 days of the US launch.

Gallivan also disclosed plans to open Netscape offices in Beijing and Shanghai before the end of this year.

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