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NeoPlanet Postpones Mozilla Work, Expands Beyond Browser Paradigm

Apr 27, 2001, 22:30 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor, BrowserWatch

Tempe, AZ-based NeoPlanet, Inc. is a company that is undergoing some changes of late--changes that will affect the direction and product implementation of the company.

The NeoPlanet Browser is the company's most well-known product, and soon that product will be taking a smaller role within NeoPlanet's new, grander strategy. This new strategy, however, does not (for now) include moving the NeoPlanet Browser to the Mozilla platform.

According to NeoPlanet's Public Relations Manager Kim Cecere, the Arizona software firm is moving away from the ad-supported browser revenue model and to a business model that focuses on licensing and services.

The new model will leverage NeoPlanet's Browser application as well as its experience in interface design and management to create what Cecere termed "customer-touching applications." These customer-touching applications will feature tools that will enable NeoPlanet clients to relate directly with their customers.

The browser will be a part of the customizable tool set offered to customers, but it will now be one tool among many.

"The NeoPlanet Browser is still alive and kicking," Cecere emphasized. Now is will be integrated (depending on the client's needs) into broader desktop interfaces that will contain client-server architecture. This new architecture would allow corporations to interact with their customers in ways beyond the Web, Cecere explained.

This new direction does not cancel or negate the browser's importance in the company's outlook. Indeed, they are hoping to leverage the browser's technology to build these highly customized applications for their clients.

Cecere stated that NeoPlanet intends to use its core competencies: the browser, experience in digital marketing, and interface work to move the company into more business relationships.

Along the way, though, some things have been put by the way side. When asked about the status of moving NeoPlanet to Mozilla, away from its current Internet Explorer rendering base, Cecere responded, "The Mozilla-based browser project has been postponed."

Cecere cited that the company's research and development into its new market base precluded further work on the NeoPlanet version of Mozilla.

Mozilla is the open source project built around the original source code of the Netscape Communicator browser. Besides Netscape, NeoPlanet was one of the first commercial ventures to express interest in using the Mozilla code as a basis for their own browser offering.

NeoPlanet's work with Mozilla is not completely canceled, just postponed indefinitely.

"We do continue to be a strong supporter of the Mozilla Project," Cecere said.

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