MozillaZine

America Online and Netscape Discussing Partnerships, WSJ Says

Wednesday November 18th, 1998

Joel Caris brings us this intriguing news. Joel writes, "When I found out the AOL/Microsoft deal ends in 2000, I started thinking that maybe Netscape would pick up the role as embedded browser with the new NGLayout technology. Well, the talks are going on and that just may happen."

An article from the Bloomberg News service stated that, according to the Wall Street Journal, the discussions are going on regarding a range of partnerships, "including a possible agreement to embed Netscape's browser into AOL's online service alongside or in place of Microsoft Corp.'s browser". The partnership may involve AOL taking an equity stake in Netscape and getting a seat on the board. The negotiations have apparently been proceeding for two months, with no agreement yet reached.

Update! ZDNet is reporting that AOL's contract with Microsoft ends on January 1st, 1999. Could AOL be the first to embed NGLayout? Time will tell....


#13 Re:America Online and Netscape Discussing Partners

by Paul Pereira

Tuesday November 24th, 1998 1:18 AM

You are replying to this message

The purchase of Netscape by AOL makes strategic sense. Combining their portals, better prepares them to compete with the breath of Microsoft's online offerings. Also, AOL's bundling of Navigator with their software would surely restore Netscape's market share. However, the browser has become more than just an interface to the web. It is the client to the new world of enterprise web based applications like Ariba's, Extensity's, and many more to come. This new paradigm of application development leaves behind the complexities of client/server in favor of a fixed browser client no matter what program you use. The deployment cost savings alone justifies its appeal. However, when a company decides to spend upwards of a million dollars to install an enterprise web based application, you can understand the resistance they would have in using a consumer-oriented AOL Navigator as the client to their enterprise application. Although an AOL purchase would be good for consumers, it definitely would help Microsoft's case in the enterprise arena. I sure would hate to see my choice of browser options severely limited due to its association to its owner rather then its technical limitations. The ideal situation would be for Netscape to sell its portal (Netcenter) to AOL in exchange for AOL bundling Navigator with its software and for its browser, SuiteSpot, CommerceXpert software be sold to an Enterprise Software Provider like Oracle, Sun, IBM, or even Computer Associates. This would be a win win situation for all involved including consumers and businesses.