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NetObjects users left stranded

Cliff Saran
Five million users of the ground-breaking Fusion development tool have been left facing difficult decisions following the closure of the Web design tools company NetObjects.

Following a disastrous third quarter, which saw revenue plummet by more than $6m (£4.14m) compared to the corresponding period last year, the Web tools company stopped trading on Saturday, leaving users unsupported in the process.

According to the analyst firm Butler Group, Fusion, which targeted the small and medium-sized business (SME) market, has been used to construct over five million business Web sites.

To keep up with demand, NetObjects developed a partnership approach, working with companies including IBM, EarthLink and, most recently, Dell, in order to supply its products to end-users.

Customers of NetObjects are now pinning their hopes on the possibility that one of the company's major partners will continue to support the tool.

According to the Butler Group analyst Tim Jennings, NetObjects has faced increased competition, mainly from Microsoft FrontPage.

In a failed attempt to broaden its revenue stream the company developed NetObjects Matrix, a tool designed to be offered as part of a Web-hosting package. Jennings told CW360 that the state of the Web-hosting market "may well have contributed to the downfall of NetObjects".

Butler Group report on NetObjects
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