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Re: [Long] A history of Netscape/MSIE problems

>Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 08:16:47 +0100
>From: Adam Back <[email protected]>

>> The attacks on RC4 are a prime example of a publicity attack.  They were
>> carried out by volunteers using borrowed machine time, noone (apart from
>> Netscapes stock prices) was harmed, 

>Strangly (I'm not sure if anyone lost money due to this), I think
>Netscapes prices hardly suffered, perhaps even improved slightly.
>Could be due to the `any publicity is good publicity' syndrome.  There
>was a *lot* of publicity, and Netscapes response in fixing the problem
>was good.  Several US cypherpunks were tracking the stocks at the
>time, and could probably verify this.

I have been tracking Netscape stock closely since the IPO.  I can
safely say that Netscape stock didn't suffer one iota when the news
reports of the cypherpunks' attacks hit the papers.  I agree with
Adam, Netscape stock generally rose (err, skyrocketed would be a
better word) the entire time of the cypherpunks incidents.

[Anyone can verify this analysis by comparing the chart at
 http://www.stockmaster.com/sm/g/N/NSCP.html with the dates
 of the cypherpunks incidents (all important dates in 1995 by my

Netscape's stock price has generally fallen since these incidents, but
this was obviously (if anything is obvious when it comes to matching
stock price swings to real events :-) caused by increased general
market pressure and, quite importantly, the fact that Microsoft was
able to deliver a reasonable product with which to compete with
Netscape in such a timely fashion.  I think even close Microsoft
watchers were surprised by the Microsoft's speed to market with
something quite decent.

In retrospect, none of this surprises me.  The stock's fall from grace
was predicted (at least by myself), just the exact timing for the fall
was far different than I expected.  None of this is to say anything
about a Netscape fall from grace, as a company.  They make great
product, but the skyrocketing stock price after the IPO made no sense
to me.  Anyone that looked closely at the IPO model (early investors
got *huge* chunks of shares at mere pennies/share) and the evolution
of the software market should have been able to plainly see that
$170/share for Netscape (pre-split price hit early Dec 1995 and late
Jan 1996) is insane.

I wonder who bought at $170?


Loren J. Rittle ([email protected])	PGP KeyIDs: 1024/B98B3249 2048/ADCE34A5
Systems Technology Research (IL02/2240)	FP1024:6810D8AB3029874DD7065BC52067EAFD
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Of course, these are my opinions, not Motorola's.