They battle in the media and they are starting to battle in court. Now Microsoft Corp. and Netscape Communications Inc. say they plan to take their "browser war" person-to-person as Netscape's co-founder and senior vice president, Marc Andreessen openly debates Microsoft exec, Brad Chase, at Seybold San Francisco on September 10.
Softbank Expos, producer of Seybold San Francisco, virtually guaranteed a standing-room-only first day audience for its well-known tradeshow. A few years ago, this show was all about computers and their role in publishing printed materials. Those materials covered everything from books to billboards.
When the Internet came along, the definition of publishing changed and Seybold changed as well. Printers and computers, large and small, still play a significant role at Seybold, but the production and distribution of multimedia documents across the Internet brought new players to Seybold. World Wide Web designers, developers of corporate intranet systems, Internet service providers, software developers of electronic imagining and publishing programs, and many more, now join the Seybold tradition. At the same time, well-known companies such as Apple Computer, SGI, Adobe, Corel, Epson, Radius, Canon, and others, bring new products and ideas to the printed word and the electronic word.
Commenting on the Netscape/Microsoft debate, "This is an ideal time to have Netscape and Microsoft on stage together, debating their positions in the Internet publishing market," said Terri Holbrooke, vice president and general manager of Seybold Seminars. "These two companies are having a profound effect on technologies for the publishing industry and as the premier conference for publishing professionals seeking success through technology innovation, Seybold San Francisco is the ideal place for this meeting to happen."
Recent statistical studies show Netscape holds a commanding marketshare of approximately 84% of the browser market, while Microsoft holds less than 3%. But Microsoft has a long history of turning around marketshares.
One analyst told Newsbytes, "Remember a few years ago when WordStar held more than 80% of the word processing market and then when WordPerfect held a large share? Netscape has to be concerned, and they have to battle the giant."
A spokesperson for Netscape recently told Newsbytes, "We know the playing field is uneven, but we will concentrate on open standards and delivering the better product." Some observers have said Microsoft will spend more than $400 million to make its browser, Internet Explorer 3.0, the "browser of choice."
The meeting of Andreessen and Chase begins at 9:00am on September 10 at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Expect the cannons to fire. Seybold's Andreessen/Chase keynote-debate will be hosted by Jonathan Seybold.
Four additional keynote presentations will follow from: Mark Anderson, president, Technology Alliance Partners; Roger Black, creative director of @Home; Halsey Minor, founder and CEO of c/net: The Computer Network; and Richard Patterson, founder and chairman of Cascade Systems International.
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