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Netscapes' Constellation... (fwd)



Perhaps a Lucent partnership with Netscape would make better sense.

> 
>      This is an article from today's Wall Street Journal...
>      
>      
>      November 20, 1996
>      
>      
>      Netscape Aims to Nab
>      Desktop From Microsoft
>      
>      By JOAN INDIANA RIGDON and DAVID BANK 
>      Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
>      
>      
>      LAS VEGAS -- Netscape Communications Corp. has a plan to muscle all 
>      signs of Microsoft Corp. off the desktops of corporate America.
>      
>      <Picture: [Report From Comdex]>
>      
>      Netscape is expected to announce at the Comdex computer industry show 
>      Wednesday that in mid-1997 it will ship software that will organize a 
>      computer's desktop, making Microsoft's software just one of many 
>      programs inside. That would be a 180-degree switch from today's look, 
>      in which Microsoft's Windows operating system organizes 90% of PC 
>      desktops and controls other software.
>
>      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>      <Picture: [Go]>Join the Discussion: Netscape plans to bump Microsoft 
>      from its own Windows desktop. Do you think consumers will convert to 
>      the Netscape desktop?
>
----------------------------------------------------------------------    >

>      The move, outlined by people familiar with the plans, is Netscape's 
>      latest bid in its battle with Microsoft for dominion over 
>      Internet-related technologies. Netscape made its name with technology 
>      for browsing the Internet's World Wide Web, but Microsoft is giving 
>      away a competing product for free. Netscape has begun positioning its 
>      software as a way to navigate through corporate databases, the current 
>      hottest corporate market. But Microsoft has done the same thing.
>      
>      Netscape's planned product, called Constellation, is an attempt to 
>      shift the battlefield again. Instead of trying to get rid of 
>      Microsoft, Netscape is now hoping to position itself as a kind of 
>      middleman on the desktop that can grab and organize data from all 
>      kinds of places -- not just from the Internet or corporate networks, 
>      but from office software like Microsoft-made word processors and 
>      spreadsheets.
>      
>      Constellation makes the computer screen look like a television with a 
>      row of buttons down one side. By clicking on one button, users could 
>      jet to a particular site on the Internet. By clicking on another, 
>      users could launch a desktop program.
>      
>      If Netscape's plan succeeds, Constellation could become a de facto 
>      operating system. That means software developers could write programs 
>      to run with Constellation instead of Windows.
>      
>      But for that to happen on a grand scale, Netscape must overcome 
>      daunting odds. As is the case with its current software, Netscape must 
>      persuade corporate buyers to invest in Netscape technology instead of 
>      getting free or cheaper competing software from Microsoft. Microsoft 
>      plans to introduce software for integrating Internet and desktop data, 
>      called Active Desktop, in the second half of next year.
>      
>      Netscape is hoping to make Constellation more appealing by emphasizing 
>      that it runs on many operating systems, including the older, but still 
>      popular, versions of Microsoft's Windows, as well as Apple Computer 
>      Inc.'s Macintosh. The first version of Active Desktop will run only on 
>      Microsoft's newer operating systems.
>      
>      One analyst said Netscape's new strategy shows that it is growing up. 
>      "Up until this point it's been primarily a religious battle, with 
>      Netscape saying, it's us or them," said Mike Kennedy, a vice president 
>      with Meta Group Inc., a research firm. "Now they're saying, we realize 
>      we will not rule the entire domain. However, what we will do is become 
>      the entire container within which disparate pieces can be used."
>      
>      Capitalizing on the technology industry's latest craze, Netscape said 
>      Constellation will work with "push" software, which can be customized 
>      to automatically retrieve and update data from the Internet. 
>      Specifically, PointCast Inc.'s and Marimba Inc.'s "push" software will 
>      work with Constellation, Netscape said.
>      
>      "The mark of this new wave is that information finds you, rather than 
>      you finding information," said Jim Barksdale, Netscape's president and 
>      chief executive, according to remarks from a speech he plans to make 
>      here Wednesday.