Under an agreement announced this week by Microsoft and PointCast at Internet World in New York, users of Internet Explorer 4.0 will be able to get customised news and other information broadcast or "pushed" directly to their screens when the browser is released next year.
The deal is similar to one PointCast made last month with Netscape that will enable Navigator users to automatically receive select information from the PointCast Network, including news from CNN, The New York Times and other media outlets, directly onto their desktop rather than having to go in search of it on the World Wide Web. Pointcast has also has made similar deals with Lotus with its Lotus Notes groupware product.
However, PointCast's arrangement with Microsoft entails sharing content. Microsoft will not only include the PointCast Network on its Internet Explorer Active Desktop, but MSNBC will also provide the PointCast Network with original content.
In exchange, PointCast will distribute Internet Explorer as its preferred browser and will support Active Desktop formats and protocols, as well as enhance its content using Microsoft's ActiveX object-oriented technology. That development will be seen in the PointCast Network 97, which is due in the second quarter of next year.
PointCast can be downloaded free at http://www.pointcast.com/.