Netscape Communications, makers of the popular Navigator Web browser, informed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday that revenue and earnings growth would slow in the coming quarter. Netscape attributes the problems to increased research and development costs, sales and marketing, and customer support.

I attribute the problem to Microsoft, and apparently Netscape agrees: all of the extra spending is occurring so the Mountain View, California company can compete more effectively with their arch-rival in the Pacific Northwest. Netscape will take write-offs over the next two quarters to fund the spending.

"As is normal in the industry, we take a conservative approach in these statements. There's no news here," said Jennifer O'Mahony, a Netscape spokesperson