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CompuServe cashes in on browsers

CompuServe has found a way to stay neutral on the browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape--and cash in at the same time.

    CompuServe (CSRV) has found a way to stay neutral in the browser war between Microsoft and Netscape--and cash in at the same time.

    CompuServe is creating a Web site and an area IE 4.0 shakes industry within its online service where it hopes to draw people interested in discussing and learning about the wars. To be launched tomorrow, the site is aptly named www.browserwars.com.

    And yes, it is accessible from both browsers.

    Mike Blackwell, computing services manager at CompuServe, said the site will serve two functions: It will give people a place to go where they can get information about which browser to download. And it will provide a "sneak preview" of what CompuServe's Web-based forums will look like when the online service's next version is launched by the end of the year, he said.

    "We wanted a place where people could get independent information in order to choose a browser," Blackwell said. The forums will launch a few days after the new site, which will include features written by industry analyst Will Zachman.

    "There are loyalists in both camps, and we are counting on them to put both browsers to task," Zachman said. "No one will be tougher critics than actual users; they're the shock troops in this war."

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