RealTime IT News

Netcenter Goes Global

In an attempt to meet the demands of a growing worldwide online market, Netscape Communications Corp. plans to increase international coverage on its Netcenter portal.

Visitors in Australia, France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy can now take advantage of localized content found on Netcenter. This expansion is part of the company's "Project Turbo" campaign, intended to boost Netcenter's traffic.

Content on the international sites include a set of channels on the home page that organizes local content, services and directories for Internet users. These channels range from personal finance to sports, travel, news and business and include a new Netscape channel for company and product information.

Also as part of the expansion, Netscape launched a selection of global and local search capabilities on its international sites. Companies that plan to provide these services include Excite Inc., dLycos-Bertelsmann and Infoseek; as well as Associated New Media's UKPlus, France Telecom's Voila, Nomade, HispaVista, LookSmart, Virgilio, and Web.DE.

"The goal of our international effort has been to complement the global site by building out local content and commerce services that give users a new way to experience the Internet," said Linda Lawrence, Netscape vice president in charge of International Netcenter.

"The time is right to extend our international Netcenter offering," said Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of Netscape's Netcenter division. "The number of Internet users outside the U.S. grew 52 percent this year alone and by 2002 more than half of all Internet users will come from outside the U.S. We're positioned to take advantage of that growth opportunity, both in the short-term and the long-term."

Netscape is the latest in a series of portal sites augmenting their offerings to customers. Tuesday, competitor AltaVista announced a redesign of its site, and Lycos Inc. recently acquired Wired Digital Inc.