The market for push technology is still in its infancy, but already companies are jostling to create new product niches within that space.
Lanacom has joined hordes of similar companies attacking the emerging push technology market with a new product called HeadLiner. However, the US start-up claims its product is different as it is a hybrid push/pull application.
HeadLiner is designed to give users access to information from the Web through access channels, but also lets users select their own content.
It offers over 400 channels of information, ranging from international and national to local news and other content. Although news is the main focus of the service, users can also obtain content specific to their interests and hobbies, their job, and their geographical location.
The BBC, CNN, Financial Times, Business Week and Reuters are among those organisations which have signed up as news content providers. Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Time Out and Thomas Cook will be included in the service's lifestyle sections.
As well as offering these standard, default push channels, HeadLiner is a pull application. This means users can create their own content channels, using a feature called Content Agent Wizards. They can select their favourite sites on the Web and receive updates from them.
This is done by extracting the headlines and key information from the content provider and delivering them to the user's desktop on a ticker bar. Users can then access the full version by double clicking on the headline, launching the relevant Web site in their browser. The product can be used with both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
A 'light' version of HeadLiner is available as a free download from the company's Web site, www.lanacom.com. Full releases of the software, including a corporate multi-user version and an intranet version, will ship over the coming months. A professional version, due by the end of April, will be priced at under #50.
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