> 03/28/97 - 09:45 AM ET - Click reload often for latest version
> Netscape looks to Be to sting
> PALO ALTO, Calif. - The rivalry between Netscape
> Communications and Microsoft might get turned up a notch.
> Netscape is in negotiations with Be, the maker of a new computer
> operating system, to provide an alternative to Microsoft's
> fast-growing Windows NT operating system.
> The goal: to provide businesses with a cheaper, faster and better way
> to develop and manage multimedia-rich World Wide Web sites and
> corporate computer networks.
> Neither company would comment on the talks, which have been
> going on for months. A decision is likely within weeks. Netscape is
> not expected to buy a stake in Be, which pursued a merger last year
> with Apple Computer.
> A deal with Be, though, would turn up the heat on Microsoft.
> Netscape and Microsoft already compete on Internet browsers. Both
> companies also make software for servers, industrial-strength
> computers that host Web sites. Microsoft also sells an operating
> system to run those servers.
> Netscape does not sell an operating system, but it makes software
> that runs on most operating systems. And by bundling its software
> with Be, the companies could offer a complete server solution, just
> as Microsoft does.
> The question is whether it would be better and cheaper than NT. "It
> could be impressive," says Dataquest analyst Kimball Brown. That's
> because Be is especially good at running audio, video and graphics,
> which is not NT's strong suit. Be also runs on lower-cost Macintosh
> clones from Power Computing. Most media-rich Web sites are
> served by higher-priced computers.
> By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY