Microsoft has dismissed Netscape's decision to make its browsers and source code free of charge saying the strategy is misguided. Martin Gregory, Microsoft's Internet product manager said that the most important consideration for developers is the whole service and support package, not just price.
"Our customers and in particular developers always pick products on a technology and support basis, not on price," said Gregory. "A small number of developers may appreciate Netscape's move but the vast majority won't be affected because they always look for quality assurance, industry compatibility and manufacturer support. We have always provided our developer kit free of charge whereas Netscape has had a more confusing strategy in browsers. At one stage they didn't see Microsoft as a threat."
Gregory also posed the question that with the source code for Communicator now in the public domain, does this mean that Java is now free of charge also?
For Joe Corr, sales director at Demon Internet, this was just another step in the tit-for-tat struggle for browser supremacy. "It's just raising the stakes in the browser war," he said. "I'll match you the browser and raise you the source code."