Netscape Analysis Report

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Netscape Analysis Report

I. History

Netscape Communications Corporation, originally named Mosaic Communications Corporation (MCOM) was founded in April 1994 by Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen. They released their first browser products free to Internet users in September 1994. Jim Clark is chairman of Netscape Communications Corporation. Before founding the company, Clark was the chairman of Silicon Graphics, a computer hardware manufacturer he founded in 1982. Marc Andreessen is vice president of technology for Netscape Communications. He helped develop the original graphical World Wide Web browser, Mosaic, while he was at the University Of Illinois at Urbana/Champlain.

The Internet is a global network connecting thousands of networks by use of high speed digital lines called ATMs, T3s and T1s. It was just being introduced to the general public at the time of Netscape's conception and they would NOT have been successful if they had not had this timing advantage.

II. Location

Netscape's corporate headquarters are in Mountain View, California -- in the heart of the Silicon Valley. However, due to the nature of the global networks its software transmits over, Netscape is able to sell worldwide via the Internet. There are virtually no walls to its "retail outlets." Its software products are also distributed through computer stores worldwide.

III. Product Line

Netscape Navigator is a software program to browse information available on the Internet. It is available for all common computer system platforms, including 16-bit PC, 32-bit PC, Macintosh, and all UNIX systems. Navigator also allows people to check their e-mail on the Internet through use of a password (MIME) encoding scheme.

Netscape Server is a piece of software that installs on UNIX and Windows NT based systems that allows serving of data on the Internet's World Wide Web. It also provides for secure transactions such as those involving credit cards.

IV. Corporate Structure

The founders, Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen, own 35% of the company. There are other major shareholders, and it is also publicly held. The board of directors and other executive management are listed in the following table:

James H. Clark- Chairman of the Board
James L. Barksdale- President, Chief Executive Officer and Director Marc L. Andreessen- Vice President, Technology and Director Peter L.S. Currie- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Conway Rulon-Miller-Vice President, Sales and Field Operations Michael J. Homer- Vice President, Marketing

Roberta R. Katz-Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Richard M. Schell- Vice President, Engineering
James C.J. Sha- Vice President and General Manager, Integrated Applications
Kandis Malefyt- Vice President, Human Resources
L. John Doerr- Director
John E. Warnock- Director

V. Competition

Netscape has 4 major competitors: Spry Mosaic, Spyglass Mosaic, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Sun's HotJava. However, Netscape dominates its market with an approximate 80% market share. It is the current industry standard for WWW browsing software, due to its support of new HTML features such as frames, JavaScript, and plug-ins.

Spry Mosaic is a piece of WWW Browser software designed by CompuServe's Spry division. It poses no threat to Netscape because of its inability to process e-mail and Usenet news.

Spyglass Mosaic is a WWW browser developed by part of the team that worked on the original web browser (NCSA Mosaic). It is a major competitor because of its slightly superior user interface as well as its alliance with Microsoft.

Microsoft Internet Explorer is a browser that was originally developed for use with the Microsoft Network. It is comparable to Netscape in every aspect but one: There is NO user support....
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