Quarterdeck Corp came to London on its European tour with a line of new Internet access products and an aggressive attitude. The Santa Monica, California company launched Quarterdeck InternetSuite, a range of five access tools, Quarterdeck Mosaic World Wide Web browser – also included in the InternetSuite – and WebServer for Windows, a package for […]
Quarterdeck Corp came to London on its European tour with a line of new Internet access products and an aggressive attitude. The Santa Monica, California company launched Quarterdeck InternetSuite, a range of five access tools, Quarterdeck Mosaic World Wide Web browser – also included in the InternetSuite – and WebServer for Windows, a package for publishing pages on the Web. It also announced support for 73 Internet access providers in 17 countries for its Internet software. The InternetSuite comprises Quarterdeck Mosaic – the company was the first to license the Web browser – Quarterdeck Message Centre – a mail and newsgroup tool, Telnet, File Transfer Protocol and Quarterdeck Location Manager. The suite will ship before the end of the summer, costing less than ú100. As a separate product, Quarterdeck Mosaic will be bundled with Internet access providers’ software, as well as by personal computer manufacturers. WebServer for Windows is aimed at small to medium-sized Internet users who want to browse and publish on the World Wide Web using a personal computer as their server, rather than buy a Unix machine. It enables up to 16 Web documents to be received processed and despatched simultaneously. It is a 16-bit application, but will support migration to Windows95 and NT, the company said. WebServer will be available by the end of the summer for less than ú130. As a separate product, Quarterdeck Mosaic will be bundled with Internet access providers’ software, as well as by personal computer manufacturers. In March Quarterdeck launched its first Internet product, WebAuthor, a tool for creating and publishing Web pages using Microsoft Corp’s Word for Windows 6.0. President and chief executive Gaston Bastiaens acknowledged that the Redmonder gives away a similar tool for nothing, but indicated that you get what you pay for. To emphasise the European theme, Quarterdeck announced support for 73 Internet access providers in 16 European countries, as well as two in South Africa, giving the company more than 200 points of presenc e. The InternetSuite, Mosaic and WebServer will all be offered in English, French and German, with other languages to follow. Technical support will be provided from Quarterdeck’s European base in Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, and will also be available in Italian and Spanish.
The company has seen a dramatic turn-around in recent months. Bastiaens – at the helm since February – said the company was broadening its base, adding to its strength in utilities. It now has three business units: utilities, Internet and remote computing. The geographical mix is also shifting, from an 80-20 split in favour of the US, to a 50-50 split, with 35% of the total coming from Europe, he said. The company cut its workforce by a quarter last year (CI No 2,484) and took a $13.5m hit in the process, but Bastiaens insisted that it had retained its core development teams. He added that with $35m in the bank and fast performing stock – it has leapt to $13 from $3 per share in six months – it will acquire technologies and companies in the near future. In the same timeframe, the company has gone from one to seven products in the US: it’s a selling machine, said Bastiaens. Utilities are still Quarterdeck’s bread and butter. Its Quarterdeck Expanded Memory Manager for Windows and MS-DOS environments, QEMM, is now up to version 7.5, out last September. Its CleanSweep utility, which frees disk space by removing unwanted and unused files and system components, was released in November. GameRunner is a suite of tools for enhancing MS-DOS games and the ability of the user to play them, or, more accurately, cheat. Like some other utility manufacturers, Quarterdeck claims that it welcomes the arrival of Windows95. It’s great – it looks almost like a Mac, quipped Bastiaens. He added that Microsoft had left enough problems for us to solve. QEMM for Windows95 will be out in the autumn for $70 and CleanSweep some time in the summer, said Bastiaens. However, he also said that corporations would not be
switching over to the new operating system in its first year of release, and Caroline Edney, European director of retail channels acknowledged that the company was shifting its marketing to cope with that. Previously, Quarterdeck’s utility revenues were split roughly 80-20 in favour of corporations over consumers.