Netscape, IFusion, AirMedia focus on custom news

Netscape has launched a version of its In-Box Direct custom news service for corporate intranets at Comdex.

Netscape has launched a version of its In-Box Direct custom news service for corporate intranets at Comdex, one of several World Wide Web-based content delivery announcements made at the show yesterday.

Called In-Box Direct for SuiteSpot, Netscape's service allows companies that use its SuiteSpot servers and Communicator client to have Web pages and customised news reports delivered to their employees' electronic in-boxes. Content providers participating in the service include @dvantage from Gartner Group, CNNfn, Dow Jones, Knight-Ridder New Media, Legi-Slate, Lexis-Nexis, The New York Times, Reuters, The Washington Post and Ziff-Davis.

Meanwhile, IFusion Com has announced eight companies that have signed up to offer content "channels" on ArrIve, its forthcoming Web-based personal broadcast service. And AirMedia has announced that it will partner with CNN Interactive on its AirMedia Live Internet Broadcast Network, a customised broadcast service that uses a wireless receiver to deliver news and other information from the Internet to PCs. AirMedia has also announced a new service that enables AirMedia users to signal offline AirMedia users, via the wireless receiver, that they want to initiate a chat session or Internet telephone call.

Ifusion's ArrIve allows users to pick the multimedia content they want to receive from participating content providers and the time they want to receive it. The first announced content providers are Epic Records, GolfWeb, KPIX, Showtime Networks, Ski News from AMI, USA Today, The Weather Channel and Yahoo.

Although the beta offering will be English-only, by the end of the first quarter, the company expects to deliver content in other languages, says Jean-Louis Bravard, president and chief operating officer of Ifusion.

"We have already closed some transactions in Asia and we're working a lot in Europe and Latin America," Bravard says.

Ifusion has also announced it will integrate ArrIve with credit card processing and CyberCoin payment services from CyberCash, which will allow the content providers to charge for subscriptions or sell products. Phillips Business Information, a US-based newsletter publisher, will offer subscriptions over ArrIve, targeting viewers on corporate intranets, officials say.

The ArrIve client software works as a plug-in with Netscape's Navigator 3.0 browser and as an ActiveX control with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 browser. It requires a Pentium-based PC that runs Windows 95 or Windows NT. The client will be available free at ArrIve's Web site and content providers' Web sites in January, when the service goes into public beta.

Netscape is on the World Wide Web at http://www.netscape.com. AirMedia's site is at http://www.airmedia.com. Ifusion is at http://www.arrive.com.

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