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How to keep Netscape from sabotaging our protocol extensions




From: brads (SMTP: Sent: Friday, June 23, 1995 8:20 AM To: billg Subject: FW: Netscape meeting: reality

not sure I should forward this to you, but l am because I want you to see another perspective of the meeting with netscape so you can be fully informed informed. to be honest I worry that sometimes you get a distorted picture/account of things, for the guy at the top, that can be dangerous, as you need the best info possible so you can make the best decisions. i know you work hard to have good contacts at many levels it the org so you get good data, which is very wise, so here is more data.


From: thomasre To: nens; johniu; paulma; bradsi; chrisjo Subject: Netsape meeting: reality Date: Friday, June 23, 1995 5:00 AM

I think I should add some perspective, I suspect chrisjo wil comcur.

1) Netscape is preempting O'Hare. We sent them a list of about thirty talking points. They sent back ten. nearly all revolving around their Win95 browser.

2) Despite four hours of talks, they really only wanted to know about two things O'Hare and MSN. They were very confused about MSN, and in particular Blackbird. My take is that Blackbird is seen as our killer browser, akin to their V2 browser.

(java + acrobat + director),theydid not know if they could work around it or against it. They know now, as we did divulge quite a bit on this.

3) they only thought three months ahead. they were obsessed hearing about O'Hare packaging and shipping plans. like down to the day we did not supply this info.

4) anthony bay engaged then on how they might play withe MSN as uber-site. they had not understood that the MSN architecture could open up this way, to include netscape servers. this is an intriguing idea that has a better longshot chance then any of the ideas of getting them to reuse O'Hare or catapult pieces.

5) The comments below of "we discussed" sucking most of the functionality of the current Netscape browser (but not the toolbar, cool places or advertising) into the platform: the seemed OK with this concept" is bunk. there was a noticable increace in the level of tension whenever this sort of language came up. one clearly telling quote from Barksdale: "all we wantis our god given 95% market share for the browser". he said this with a wink, but I don't know what could be more clear.

6) Barksdale made same very scary comments regarding our signup wizard. he suggeatad that we hold o’hare from the channel untill the RNA api’s are widely available isv's. this is not the the comment of someone who wants to migrate his investment against msft's browser.

7) the discussion about 'putting most of netscape's commerce server into nt' was actually about the communications server, the low-end box that netscape sells. the commerce server starts at $5k and up.

8) nobody in the room was at Barksdale's level, he is very very impressive, I suspect he could have sent us home thinking netscape buying msft was an appropriate deal.

imo, the best we can do now is avoid turning netscape into novell. we will compete on just about every technology. they will do so with partnerships (sun/java, adobe/acrobat, etc). we will do so with our platforms. the two areas where we can cooperate and both win today are STT and DocObject. they have started their own ecommerce development. if we don't close a deal on just that piece within, say 6 more weeks, it's dead.

with DocObject, we can lock them deeply into OLE for some time, while forcing them to ship a richer browser on Windows than on the mac. O'Hare has already done this to them, judging from the browser they shipped tues: each time they decide to ship something on windows (better yet, windows 95) and not on a mac, we lessen their cross-platform strengths.

maybe i am being a dick, but their is no great harm. if we are smart and daft and engaged at the right levels, we have a chance to cooperate on a few of these smaller things, and can keep them from sabotaging our efforts thru the end of this year.

- thomas


From: Dan Rosen Sent: Thursday, June 22, 1995 4:25 PM To: billg; nathanm; paulma; peteh Cc: abay; bens; bfox; bobmu; bradsi; chrisjo; jallard; johniu; patern; ppathe; russ3; rwolf; stevest; thomasre; warrend; Subject: Netscape meeting


Seven of us met with Jim Barksdale (CEO), Mike Homer (VP Marketing). Mark Andreisan (CTO), and Ram Shiram (VP Business Dev) of Netscape for four hours yesterday. The purpose of the metting was to scope out specific areas that a relationship between the two companies might take and to set in place a process to either conclude a strategic relationship or go our seperate ways.

Our goals going into the meeting were (in priority order); 1. Establish Microsoft ownership of the Internet client platform for Win95.

2. Have Netscape add value to the NT server and Back Office platform (above our stuff), making it the preferred Internet solution.

3. Have Netscape preferentially support Microsoft authoring tools/solutions and support our viewers

4. Send a message to the marketplace that Netscape and Microsoft were cooperating on Internet issues.


Working goals:

1. Launch STT, our electronic payment protocol. Get STT presence on the Internet

2. Move Netscape out of the Win32 Internet client arena

3. Avoid cold or hot war with Netscape. Keep them from sabotaging our platform evolution.


By partnering with Netscape on payment, even exclusively, we will force Visa and Master card and any other backend players to fail quickly into line, and establish the 'per-click' business. This seems to be the grail that we all lust for ..


In worst case scenario, Netscape will move from minor public dinging of O'Hare (Barksdale in PC-Week two weeks ago) to open slandering of all of our Internet tools. as well as explicit sabotaging of any protocol extensions we make ..

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