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Study: Soaring Opportunities, Increased Competition in Web Publishing

World Wide Web authoring and design revenues will reach more than $290 million by 2002, according to a report released today by International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC predicts that the Windows market for Web authoring products will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.6% for worldwide unit shipments between 1997 and 2002.

The study, "Web Authoring and Design Software Review and Forecast, 1997- 2002," focuses on the dynamics of the Internet and the World Wide Web as related to Web authoring and design software. It also forecasts the worldwide market for unit shipments and revenue for both the Macintosh and Windows environments.

According to the report, products such as NetObjects' Team Fusion are well-suited to the needs of Web authors while MacroMedia's DreamWeaver and GoLive's CyberStudio are geared for the creative designer.

It comes as no surprise that the report names Microsoft as a leading player in the Web publishing arena and that many companies feel threatened each time the company releases a new beta version of FrontPage. As Microsoft continues to bundle FrontPage with its NT server product (IDC found 50% of NT server customers are active users of FrontPage), the company's market share grows significantly.

There have also been some serious stumbles in the market, IDC said, including Interleaf's promised CyberLeaf product, and Quark's Immedia which missed the HTML compatibility mark.

IDC said it sees continued development in the Web authoring field, however, as related products begin to integrate authoring capabilities. Examples include basic HTML editing features within Netscape Navigator through its Composer feature, or standardized front ends for commerce applications such as NetObjects' Fusion front end to Lotus Domino server.

Another trend highlighted by IDC is the integration of Web authoring tools with Web application building tools, in which the Web authoring tools become the front ends or application user interfaces.

"Publishing content on the Web continues to explode and is increasingly becoming more complex as competition grows unabated," said Joan-Carol Brigham, a research manager in IDC's Internet program. "Because standards such as HTML prevail, vendors are finding more creative ways to compete aside from pure features through ease of use, added peripheral features such as ISP hosting primers for Web sites, and application interfaces."



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