Pointcast has opened up its Internet-based news delivery service to anyone with an existing Web server.
Using the Pointcast Connections service, any Web publisher - from a local business or soccer league to popular sites such as Microsoft Expedia and Virtual Vineyards - can now broadcast their content to Pointcast's viewership for free. And Pointcast end users will be able to designate existing Web sites to be included in their desktop news feeds.
Pointcast Connections will run alongside other Pointcast channels like CNN News and the Weather channel.
The company is readying itself for the onslaught of competition from Microsoft?s Internet Explorer 4.0, which will allow users to 'subscribe' to specific Web pages and have the information pushed to their desktops.
Pointcast Connections will be based on Microsoft?s Channel Definition Format standard (see related story, Newswire 12 March). In order to sign up, publishers simply fill out a Web-based registration form and the content they select is automatically transformed into a dynamic 'smartscreen'.
?With Pointcast Connections, we are creating an opportunity for any Web publisher to use industry standard HTML and the new open channel format to broadcast their information,? said Chris Hassett, president of Pointcast.
Pointcast?s delivery reshuffle comes at a time when analysts warn that the year ahead may bring hard times for push technology vendors. IDC has said that the push market will slow down this year, leaving little space for new players. The Pointcast Network can be downloaded for free at http://www.pointcast.com.
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