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Vermeer previously wary of Microsoft

Although Vermeer Technologies' founders were cheery about Microsoft's acquisition of their company earlier today, they were less positive about the software giant several months ago.

Vermeer Technologies officials Randy Forgaard and Charles Ferguson were all smiles today at the announcement by Microsoft that the Redmond, Washington, company will acquire the maker of FrontPage.

But last October in an interview with Digital Media, Vermeer's chief technology officer, Randy Forgaard, commented on Microsoft's attempts to split the Web authoring market by creating and fomenting proprietary extensions to HTML. "To be specific about Microsoft, the Internet Explorer 2.0 beta that's come out has several HTML tags that are proprietary to their browser and are not supported by Netscape."

According to Forgaard, Netscape's strategy of offering Navigator free was a source of frustration for the software giant. "What's going on is that Microsoft, of course, isn't happy about Netscape kind of owning the whole show, and Microsoft wants to bifurcate the HTML standard so that people will start using Microsoft extensions and more people start using Microsoft's browser, which is already getting a large installed base. It's already the number two browser because of the Windows 95 Plus connection and so forth.

"And it really drives Microsoft crazy. Absolutely drives Microsoft crazy. The Netscape Now program where you can put this button on your home page, saying 'Download it now.' That really drives Microsoft up a tree," said Forgaard in the October 1995 interview with Digital Media's Neil McManus.

Click here to read the Digital Media interview.