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February 18, 1999

NETSCAPE ACCUSES MICROSOFT FROM A SAFE DISTANCE

By CBR Staff Writer

Netscape Communications Corp took the opportunity of its 10k filing with the SEC yesterday to kick Microsoft Corp while it’s down over some of the allegations being heard in the current antitrust trial. There was nothing much new in the filing – America Online Inc had given most of the merger details in its 10K filed in Wednesday – but under the section on competition, Netscape claimed that as a result of the integration of Internet Explorer into Windows 98, it faces further difficulties in addition to the challenge of switching users to our browser from the browser integrated into their operating system. Warming to its theme, Netscape said Microsoft is promoting its proprietary ActiveX technology as a method of writing Windows- specific web sites viewable only in Internet Explorer. And it suggested Redmond may be using co-marketing funds and other inducements to have web sites developed exclusively for Internet Explorer. With Microsoft allegedly using its dominant position in the OS market to secure preferential distribution and bundling contracts for IE with ISPs, online service providers, VARs, and OEMs including third parties with whom we have relationships, and grouping its web properties at msn.com, which may become the opening screen for Windows or Internet Explorer, Netscape concludes that such actions may continue to reduce is share of the browser market and adds that a significant decline in our share of the browser market could reduce the traffic to Netcenter. Netscape is incorporating links to its Netcenter web site into Communicator. We presume Judge Jackson’s court is listening.

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