Canadian groupware specialist SoftArc has leapt into the ring with Microsoft and Netscape with an integrated Internet/intranet messaging server that "can transfer messages 10 times faster than a Netscape system", according to CEO Scott Welch.
SoftArc's FirstClass 4 is a Web server and mail client which uses Netscape's Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers to access mail boxes, threaded discussion forums and database forms. Welch explained why the software was based on open Internet protocols.
Windows, DOS, OS/2 and Macintosh versions of the software will be available from mid-April. Pricing will be around £400 per server and between £20 and £40 per user. The software supports 250 concurrent users, but a later version will support up to 1,000 users.
"We can be number two in the market," said Welch. "We can develop a new protocol version of a server in four weeks and bring it faster to market than Netscape. I don't believe they have the talent for e-mail systems. And we're not going to have much of a problem beating [Lotus] Notes."
SoftArc's distributor Principal can be contacted by telephone on 01756-704000.