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Netscape Targets Small Business With Netcenter Expansion

In an effort to further expand its Netcenter portal, Netscape Communications Corp. launched the Small Business Source (SBS) service today, and announced several agreements with Internet companies to provide related content and services.

Small Business Source falls under the company's "Project 60" operation which is focused on growing the Netscape Netcenter area into a major portal.

SBS can be accessed free of charge from the home page, and will also be featured on the Business Channel in conjunction with the company's expansion effort. It will provide business news, information and services targeted at the small business audience.

To support the new area, Netscape announced relationships with Atrieva Corp., Concentric Network, Netopia, Amazon.com, Better Business Bureau OnLine, software.net, Travelocity, NewsEdge Corp. and The Mining Company.

Netscape said Atrieva, Concentric Network and Netopia will provide optional subscription services, featuring online backup and retrieval services from Atrieva; a turn-key solution for creating Web "offices" by Netopia; and a suite of Web hosting solutions from Concentric Network.

NewsEdge will continue to offer news and information that has been available on Netcenter since last year, with the Netscape Business Journal now featuring continually updated business headlines via a news ticker on the SBS. Other content from The Mining Co. will feature small business articles, links, resources, and industry events.

The BBBOnline resource will enable companies to apply for the Better Business Bureau's official seal which confers ethical business standards on a firm.

E-commerce partner Amazon.com will be featured through a small business storefront offering books geared to small business. Netscape Software Depot by software.net will make business software available for download, and Travelocity will allow small businesses to make reservations and employ a "Destinations Guide" that includes business travel tips.

"Small business represents a strong and growing market, with many companies eager to learn how they can leverage the Internet to their competitive advantage," said Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of Netscape's Netcenter division. "Although this enthusiasm is fueling demand for new and better Web-based products and services, finding them online remains a challenge."

"The Small Business Source is designed to meet this need by providing a single destination on our Netcenter portal site where even the smallest company can navigate through the myriad of information and services, manage their resources more effectively or conduct business over the Internet."