DISA buys 180,000 licenses for Navigator
- By Paul Constance
- Jul 08, 1996
The Defense Information Systems Agency has bought 180,000 licenses for the Netscape
Navigator World Wide Web browser.
With the purchase, DISA aims to encourage adoption of the Defense Information
Infrastructure Common Operating Environment. Copies of the software will be available for
free to program managers building systems designed for compliance with the DII COE, DISA
said in a statement.
"We're delighted," said Peter Thorpe, director of federal marketing for
Netscape Communications Corp., Mountain View, Calif. "This establishes Netscape as
the predominant platform of choice in DOD."
Thorpe said the $3.3 million DISA sale late last month was Netscape's largest in DOD,
in terms of license numbers, although the company has received more valuable orders from
the CIA and the National Security Agency.
DISA paid about $18 per copy of Netscape, which runs on Unix and all Microsoft Corp.
operating systems. The purchase took place through the Integrated-Computer Aided Software
Engineering (I-CASE) contract held by Logicon Inc. of Torrance, Calif. Logicon arranged
for the sale through BTG Inc., Netscape's federal distributor in Vienna, Va.
The restructured I-CASE contract has become DISA's preferred vehicle for the commercial
components of the COE. During the past month, DISA made large license purchases of Unix
software interface products from TriTeal Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif., and Transarc Corp. of
Pittsburgh through I-CASE. It also intends to distribute these copies free to COE
"DISA won't have any trouble distributing the Netscape licenses," said Vince
Steckler, Logicon's I-CASE marketing manager. He said the there is an enormous backlog of
demand for Netscape products in DOD, and additional large license sales for the Web
browser likely will take place this summer.
Thorpe said the DISA purchase includes a limited number of licenses for a version of
Netscape adapted to process security features in NSA's Fortezza encryption card. NSA
currently is testing Fortezza-enabled beta versions of Netscape's Navigator 2.0 and 3.0
products, along with the Netscape commerce server. Thorpe said he hoped these versions
would be available for order by October.
Industry sources said the Fortezza version of Netscape probably will prove popular in
DOD to catalog access to information within classified intranets. Fortezza features also
would make Netscape compatible with the emerging Defense Message System.
The DISA purchase does not include licenses for Netscape's server products, but Thorpe
said DOD's large user base would benefit from a recently announced change to the company's
server pricing strategy. Instead of paying a flat rate for any one of Netscape's five
principal server products, large organizations can now pay a low per-user fee for
unlimited use of Netscape SuiteSpot, which bundles all five servers.
Thorpe said SuiteSpot pricing for DOD would be lower than the $69 per user list price
for organizations with at least 1,000 Navigator licenses.