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The Times 100: The Best Performing Companies in California
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Netscape Communications : No. 2 on Great Expectations

May 07, 1996|JULIE PITTA

For many people, Netscape Communications is synonymous with the Internet.

The company, started in April 1994 by wunderkind Marc Andreessen, now 24, and Silicon Valley veteran James Clark, makes software for searching the Internet. Netscape's Internet browser, as it is called, is used by about 75% of those who look for information stored somewhere on the Net.

Netscape gives away its browser, Navigator, to anyone with Internet access. It hopes to make money by selling software for computer servers, the sites where Internet information resides. Because sites using Netscape's server software are best viewed using Navigator, the popularity of its browser is a key component of its strategy.

Netscape's sales for its recently ended first quarter were up ten-fold from the same period a year earlier. Earnings are expected to soar in coming years--if Netscape can survive challenges from giant Microsoft Corp.

Although Microsoft was slow to recognize the commercial potential of the Internet, the giant has now awakened and is ready to take on this computer-industry David.

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