AOL Buys Netscape for $4.2 Billion -- America Online has announced it will buy Netscape Communications in a $4.21 billion stock deal. Under the agreement, AOL will operate Netscape as a separate division, while leveraging Netscape's Web browser software and widely used NetCenter Web site. With the acquisition, AOL will control two of the Web's four most trafficked "portal" sites, which has some analysts saying AOL may attract as much as a third of online advertising revenue. In addition, AOL and Sun Microsystems have agreed to a three year partnership whereby Sun will distribute Netscape's server software and pay AOL $350 million dollars in licensing and marketing fees. In exchange, AOL will adopt Sun's Java technology for use in "AOL devices" and purchase $500 million of Sun's high-end computers. Microsoft is already claiming the AOL-Netscape merger undermines the ongoing antitrust case against Microsoft, although others argue the merger serves as evidence of the difficulty of competing against Microsoft. For the time being, AOL says it plans to continue distributing Microsoft's Internet Explorer so AOL's client software remains bundled with Windows. [GD]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
- Driving the 4.5 Web Browsers (01 Feb 99)