Windows 2000 launches soon, with built in certification authority. Its v2 (ie. it works) and v3 will be a killer app meeting enterprise security needs. Digital Certifcates play second fiddle to a rival authentication technology "Kerberos". The VRSN hype looks over - speaking as an 18 month long who finally cut most of a now sizable holding.
The current ENTU offer is all to raise capital to directly take on VRSN in the service business. With stronger technology, and a later market, ENTU probably have what it takes to win now. The insurance industry, the audit industry, and the accounting industry have accepted the cost/risk/revenue models for certificte sevice businesses; VRSN pioneers have done the world a dutiful service. Others will probably exploit this achievement.
The recent acquisitions by VRSN look dodgy; VRSN faces monopoly actions. The Thawte acquisition looks like an attempt to prevent a threatened cert-price collapse, and could represent unfair competitive practice vs ENTU certs. There are rumors of regulatory disapproval of VRSN quality standards, also.
Can the VRSN exec team execute growth?
Absolutely! but their success as VRSN may not have much to do with digital certificates or trust! VRSN execs know how to sell, sell stock, and do deals; this is sufficient for an investor fling, if nothing else warrants the risk. But not too much, now.