Vendors to display hybrid software applications

Hybrid software applications will be as plentiful as slot machines at this week's fall Comdex show, in Las Vegas.

Hybrid software applications, a concept first promoted by Intel last US summer at its Connected PC Conference, will be as plentiful as slot machines at this week's fall Comdex show, in Las Vegas.

Vendors such as Macromedia and PointCast will show off the use of the hybrid software. According to Intel, the PC will handle most of the processing power with updates and interactive content coming across the Internet.

Macromedia will unveil enhancements to Director that will enable Web developers to build hybrid applications for publishing to a CD-ROM or the Internet. The additional functionality will be provided through third-party developers of Director Xtras.

Developers will be able to create hybrid applications such as a catalogue with the application on a CD-ROM that can be updated dynamically over the Internet.

"Using XtraNet, corporations can now develop CD-ROM catalogues that leverage Shockwave and the Internet to dynamically update pricing and content," says Terry Schussler, president and CEO of g/matter, in San Francisco.

Matsushita will demonstrate a system that lets users view MPEG-2 videos linked to a Web site without downloading the videos. The program will let users access a Web site and search for potential travel destinations. When users come across a location of interest to them, they can click on still images that will alert the DVD system to play client-stored videos of that location.

Other software publishers expected to announce hybrid applications at fall Comdex are PointCast, which sells its PCN desktop news-delivery hybrid application using an active agent to search and deliver preselected categories of information; 2Way Media, which publishes Launch, a multimedia music magazine; 3DO, with its Meridian 59 multiplayer game; and Books That Work, which offers its Home Improvement Encyclopaedia.

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