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Fusion eases Web site creation

NetObjects will take on industry heavyweights Monday with an easy-to-use site builder.

Internet software start-up NetObjects is set to take on software heavyweights Monday with the release of a tool that makes it easy to build and manage Web pages.

NetObjects Fusion, expected to cost around $500, includes a set of Web page templates and other features that let users get Web pages quickly up and running. The tool also automatically updates all links to other pages as changes are made.

The company will face stiff competition from established Web tool makers, including Microsoft, which sells Front Page, and Adobe Systems' PageMill. But NetObjects has already inked distribution and marketing deals with industry heavyweights.

IBM will bundle Fusion with its DB2 database and has enabled links to make building DB2-backed Web pages easier. Internet service provider UUNet Technologies has agreed to co-market Fusion. And Netscape Communications and Sun Microsystems will promote Fusion on their Web sites.

The company debuted Fusion, under the code-name Site Builder, in February as part of the 24 Hours in Cyberspace project. The tool was used to construct the project's Web site.