Internet

Macromedia goes Backstage

Macromedia today bought a $32 million Backstage pass into the HTML editor market by acquiring iband, maker of the Backstage tools for creating Web pages.

Macromedia today bought a $32 million Backstage pass into the HTML editor market by acquiring iband, maker of the Backstage tools used to create Web pages.

Macromedia agreed to exchange 860,000 shares of its stock for all outstanding iband shares and plans to take a $1.9 million charge against earnings in the current quarter to cover the merger expenses. The companies said they are merging as of today.

The Backstage tool lineup is designed to make it easier to create Web pages and includes the Designer WYSIWYG Web page editor; the Desktop Studio, which adds interactivity to Web pages in the form of threaded discussion groups and automated email; and Enterprise Studio, which is used to connect to client-server databases. The basic Backstage tool is comparable to the FrontPage HTML editor recently acquired by Microsoft from Vermeer.

A beta version of the basic Backstage tool for Windows 95 and Windows NT is available from the Macromedia Web site. Macromedia said it will also ship Macintosh and Unix versions of the software but has not yet announced pricing or exact product configurations.