AOL To Buy Netscape?
Sunday November 22nd, 1998
From Ben Marklein comes this interesting news -- apparently AOL is considering a buyout of Netscape in a stock swap. For the news, check out News.com and Techweb. Sun may be taking over Netscape's business application division.
UPDATE: Another more in-depth article is available at washingtonpost.com.
Here's another article - this one from the New York Times website. To view it, you must be be a registered user (it's free, though, so check it out).
UPDATE: An article at News.com confirms the rumors, but no deal has been reached at this time.
#32 Re:AOL To Buy Netscape?
by Paul Pereira
Tuesday November 24th, 1998 1:10 AM
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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.