PointCast upgrades its push software, goes multicast

PointCast has announced Version 2.5 of its push software, as well as upgraded content services and personalisation. Most significant among the new features is support for IP multicasting, which allows a machine to send the same stream of information to multiple clients. IP multicasting reduces bandwidth usage - an area that has slowed PointCast adoption in the past, company officials admit - and allows for faster updates of time-sensitive data.

PointCast has announced Version 2.5 of its push software, as well as upgraded content services and personalisation.

Most significant among the new features is support for IP multicasting, which allows a machine to send the same stream of information to multiple clients. IP multicasting reduces bandwidth usage -- an area that has slowed PointCast adoption in the past, company officials admit -- and allows for faster updates of time-sensitive data. Another feature lets companies send real-time alerts that appear in a special pop-up window on users' desktops, even when PointCast is minimised.

PointCast has added intelligent channel defaulting, which adds customised default channels based on a user's geographic location; job function or industry; or special interests. During registration, users enter pertinent data and are matched up with a set of default channels. In addition to intelligent channel defaulting, PointCast has added vertical content channels, offering content on the health care; state and local government; and real estate industries. The company also plans to add channels for automotive, banking, consumer markets, federal government, legal, IT, and telecommunication industries.

Vertical content partners include Coopers & Lybrand, Electronic Data Systems, and KPMG Peat Marwick.

Version 2.5 will be available by early April at no charge.

PointCast Inc., in Sunnyvale, Calif., can be reached at http://www.pointcast.com.

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