New Astound push tool works with Netscape and Microsoft protocols

Astound has announced a Dynamic HTML push-technology tool that enables intranet administrators to deploy broadcast channels that can be played by clients running browsers from both Netscape and Microsoft. Analysts see a big role for authoring tools which can stay out of the format war being played out by the browser vendors.

Astound has announced a Dynamic HTML push-technology tool that enables intranet administrators to deploy broadcast channels that can be played by clients running browsers from both Netscape and Microsoft.

The new product, Astound WebCast Professional, is a WYSIWYG channel-authoring and agent-content acquisition tool that gives companies the capability to develop and deliver Dynamic HTML broadcast channels that play back within Netscape's Communicator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0.

WebCast Professional combines WYSIWYG multimedia Dynamic HTML-authoring, transport and client independence, and channel agents that extract content at any level of detail from HTML pages, the company says.

"Astound WebCast Professional is the only tool that allows managers to create high-impact broadcast channels that play on these platforms without requiring proprietary clients," says Kailash Ambwani, Astound's chief executive officer.

Analysts note that the introduction of push-enabled browsers by industry leaders such as Netscape and Microsoft fosters a clear need for push tools like WebCast Professional.

"By giving corporations a Dynamic HTML-authoring tool that creates exciting, low bandwidth channels that are then published to both Microsoft's and Netscape's channel definition formats, products like WebCast Professional mitigate the argument over which channel definition to support," says Ira Machefsky, vice president of Giga Information Group, in California.

Designed for medium to large companies, the product accommodates departmental intranets that don't have the

resources to maintain complex broadcast networks, as well as large corporations that must disseminate changing information rapidly, the company says.

WebCast Professional will be available August 15th, and will be priced at US$895.

Astound, in Palo Alto, California, is at http://www.astound.com/.

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