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Netscape outsourcing woos ISPs

The company announces software for ISPs to run applications on behalf of corporate customers.

Hoping to boost its business with ISPs, Netscape Communications will tomorrow announce new software for ISPs to handle outsourced applications from corporate customers which don't want to run Internet applications themselves.

The key component is Netscape Messaging Server 4.0 Hosting Edition (formerly code-named TroopersISP), which is being upgraded for greater scalability and performance as Netscape bids to provide the infrastructure for ISPs and phone companies to outsource applications used in e-commerce.

"We are providing server software so that ISPs can provide better corporate hosting services," said Netscape senior product manager Kevin Tsurutome. The announcements will be made tomorrow during Netscape executive vice president Mark Andreessen's keynote address at ISPcon, a trade show for Internet service providers in San Jose, California.

Also part of the announcement will be Netscape Delegated Administrator, which lets users view and manage applications that are outsourced to ISPs, and Netscape Messenger Express 4.0, a Web-based email program that supports roaming and ad-supported free email.

Netscape Messaging Server 4.0 Hosting Edition supports the Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP) and can serve as the messaging backbone for Web-based email and unified messaging, which allows users to receive voicemail and faxes via email.

Netscape Messaging Server 4.0 Hosting Edition is due to ship by year's end, with the other two products expected in 1999's first quarter. They all will be added to Netscape SuiteSpot Hosting Edition, which starts at $39 per seat.

Paul Festa contributed to this report.