Netscape Communications is in negotiations with Be, Inc., makers of the Be OS, to provide an alternative to Windows NT, Microsoft's quickly rising server OS. The goal is to provide businesses with a faster, cheaper way to develop and manage content-rich Web sites and corporate LANs.

Apparently, the talks have been going on for months, though neither side is willing to say much. Be has been courted by numerous companies including Intel, Power Computing, and Motorola since their widely anticipated deal with Apple Computer fell through. The Be deal would give Microsoft the final piece of the puzzle they need to compete with Microsoft at every level of the corporate server platform. The only real question that remains is whether the Be OS is indeed a faster, and "better", solution than NT.

No matter. That a company the size of Be can be pursued by so many influential companies suggests that Apple might have really blown it when they decided to go with NeXT