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Fusion 2.0 for Mac en route

Web site designers working on the Macintosh platform will get a helping hand on Monday from NetObjects.

Macintosh Web site designers will get a helping hand on Monday from NetObjects.

The company plans to introduce a beta version of its Fusion 2.0 graphical Web site design tool for the Mac, sources said. NetObjects will post the program on its Web site on Monday, and will demonstrate the product at the Seybold Conference in New York later in the week.

The product carries a much heftier price tag, $495, than other HTML editing tools like Microsoft's $149 FrontPage and Adobe Systems' $99 PageMill. But NetObjects touts Fusion as a high-end tool for creating dynamic Web sites, and argues that other products are more focused on designing individual pages.

NetObjects says there are more than 150,000 users of Fusion.

Fusion 2.0 for the Mac includes all of the same major features of its Windows 95 counterpart, released in February. It allows designers to create page borders that carry through to all pages of a site and includes auto-frames, a feature that simplifies frame creation, sources said. Version 2.0 also comes with a collection of pre-programmed components for quickly adding bulletin boards, site maps, and news tickers to a site.

Although most Fusion users work on Windows 95 and NT, NetObjects has said that more than 20 percent of its customers design sites on the Mac. Apple claims the Mac is especially popular among Web designers, and that 60 percent of Web sites are created on Macs.

Users of Fusion 1.0 for the Mac will be able to upgrade to version 2.0 for free.