COOLUM, AUSTRALIA, 1996 MAR 13 (NB) via Individual Inc. -- Netscape
Communications within six months will build voice software for making
low-cost long distance calls via the Internet into its Navigator program,
the company's co-founder and vice president of technology, Marc Andreesen,
said at a technical forum in Australia.
Andreesen told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that telephone companie s
could no longer justify the way they charge for voice telephony, especially
over long distance.
"We're going to build the voice telephony stuff into our Navigator
(software). We can get it out to 25 or 30 million desktops in the next six
months. That's a big enough critical mass for it to take off," he said,
according to the newspaper. He predicted phone companies would find much of
their equipment "rapidly becoming useless."
Other software companies, including Quarterdeck, have offered software for
putting voice calls on the Internet. As reported by Newsbytes recently, the
company's success has prompted the America's Carriers Telecommunications
Association (ACTA) to petition the US Federal Communication Commission to
halt the sale of all Internet telephone- related hardware and software.
Marc Andreesen claimed Netscape's 85 percent market share gave it a good
chance of seeing its voice technology, called "Insoft," become the standard
system for long-distance and international voice telephony on the Net.
He was speaking at an open systems networking forum organized by Com Tech
Communications, Australian distributor for Netscape, Bay Networks, Novell,
Ascend, and other communications products.
At 24, he was making his first trip outside the United States -- and
received superstar treatment in the Australian press. Major articles and
photos have appeared in The Australian Financial Review (the country's only
financial daily), the Melbourne Age, and the Canberra Times, as well as the
Sydney Morning Herald.
Among the viewpoints he expressed:
The desktop-centered client-server computer age is over. From here on it is
Internet and intranet all the way. Within two years he expects intranet to
be the dominant way of doing business.
The term "Web browser" is now banned at Netscape and "Jim (Barksdale, chief
executive officer) will fire anyone he hears using it." The preferred term
in the brave new intranet world is "universal client."
Andreesen's research and development teams are working on three new versions
of the Navigator universal client. Versions 3 and 4, due later this year,
will offer faster Java performance, enhanced e-mail features,
what-you-see-is-what-you-get HTML (hypertext markup language) creation tools
and editable three-dimensional (3-D) graphics. Version 5 features remain a
secret. It was not clear
which version would include the Insoft telephony features.
The network computer concept promoted by Oracle chief Larry Ellison is
unlikely to fly. Users want multimedia on the Internet, and Ellison's
stripped down PC would be unable to handle really rich multimedia, said
[03-13-96 at 15:00 EST, Copyright 1996, Newsbytes News Network.]