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June 13, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:40pm

STILL GUNNING FOR MICROSOFT, CALDERA LAUNCHES BROWSER

By CBR Staff Writer

Ray Noorda, founder and former chairman of Novell Inc, seems to be driven these days by getting back at Microsoft Corp, and his Caldera Inc company has just announced its DOS-based cut-down operating system and web browser WebSpyder, which is everything Windows is not, that is to say small. Noorda bought DR Dos from Novell Inc and promptly filed an anti-trust suit against Microsoft, claiming the giant was stifling competition in the software industry (CI No 2,963). Caldera, the Linux and DOS specialist, says its WebSpyder browser runs under PC-DOS, MS-DOS or Caldera’s Open DOS, and includes TCP/IP and PPP/SLIP support for connection to Internet-based services, as promised towards the end of last year (CI No 2,997). WebSpyder is aimed at companies wanting to prolong the life of their 80286 and 80386 personal computers, and is also pitching at the Network Computer space. It operates in only 640kb of memory, while Acorn Plc’s Network Computer, for example, needs 2Mb RAM to run it’s RISC OS operating system. However, the Network Computer model is that of server-based computing which requires Java or Active X, and WebSpyder does not have Java capabilities at present. Caldera insists it will add Java, but the company was not prepared to be drawn on a date. The question is whether WebSpyder is likely to become a mainstream product, competing with the likes of Microsoft’s Windows CE. Laurent Lachal, an analyst at Ovum Ltd reckons the product will be unable to make it in the Mainstream Market, and he says like Linux, it is a techie’s product. However, Linux has a worldwide army of fans, and Caldera may be happy enough with such a following for its latest product. A beta version will be available from June 15 for customization by developers, and as an application development environment. Distribution, like Linux and Open-DOS, will be free for non- commercial use, with developers licensing per copy. A number of world class customers are going to sign licenses in the next few months, said Jon Williams UK Director of marketing.

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