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October 1, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Netscape Communications Corp is reinforcing its belief that its future lies as a portal, rather than as a software company. It will release an ActiveX control by the end of this month that will enable users of Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer 4.0 to experience the Smart Browsing and other features in the current version of Communicator, and in doing so, drive traffic to its Netcenter web site. Netscape TuneUp for IE is about 100k and once downloaded will enable users to type in keywords and, using Netscape’s controversial Smart Browsing feature, go to a web site triggered by those keywords. The What’s Related service that offers suggestions for related sites will also be available using TuneUp. What’s Related is based on technology licensed from Alexa Internet. However, this aggressive move is only going to work for Netscape if it can persuade IE users to go to its site and download the control which it says will take about 30 seconds with a 28.8 kbps connection – and it is not clear at present how Netscape will achieve that.

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