Netscape Communications will announce its arrival down under with the launch of an Australasian mirror site this week, giving users in the region access to their own server, rather than depending on the US.
Netscape's country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Clive Mayhew-Begg, officially announced the site over the weekend, in advance of the release of Netscape Navigator 3.0 (see Netscape cuts content deals). It is the latest step in an aggressive business strategy which will see staffing at Netscape's Melbourne office grow from the current four to a dozen, and then 30 as the year progresses.
Netscape will also launch its retail products in Australia next month, in anticipation of the Christmas market. Mayhew-Begg says a retail launch in New Zealand is also planned.
"What we have to do in New Zealand is set up a registration server, which gives you a number of ISPs to choose from when you launch your new copy of Navigator. We're committed to doing that in New Zealand--but it's a matter of whether we can do it for Christmas or not."
Mayhew-Begg, an Englishman, came from UK company Analysis to join Netscape four months ago. Prior to that he had six years' experience in the Australian market with Digital and Genie Information Services.