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Netscape readies affinity portal plan

Monday, Netscape will announce an initiative to help companies build Netcenter-powered portals, sites with generalized functions but specific content.

On Monday, Netscape Communications will announce an initiative to help companies build Netcenter-powered portals that can also serve as corporate intranets.

Netscape technology will power "affinity portal" features on corporate Web sites offering stock quotes, free email, and other items for customers and other users. An affinity portal is a Web site that has portal functions, such as news headlines and Web search capabilities, but provides content focusing on a company or its products.

"We see this as a way for companies to offer a lot of 'affinity' portals," said Marty Cagan, vice president of business to business services for Netcenter. "A company may have a hard time for their customers to come to their site--the idea is that they'll get more traffic."

Alternately, Netscape-powered affinity portals might serve as an intranet, offering internal resources such as company news or employee phone lists.

Netscape's pricing plan calls for customers either to run an ad banner on their home pages or be charged per user.