Major Internet rivals have agreed a common standard for software distribution over the Internet and intranets.
The Open Software Description (OSD) has been driven by Marimba and Microsoft and has had the full backing of Netscape, Lotus and a number of other companies.
Applications will be able to base delivery of software to desktop computers across an IP network on the OSD format. Using applications based on the format users will be able to track what software has been downloaded, schedule exactly when downloading takes place, and when upgrades are required.
Marimba's Castanet server and Tuner client are compatible with the format. Netscape already licenses Marimba's technology and bundles the server with its Suitspot applications. The company plans to release an OSD compatible version of its push application, Netcaster, by November.
Microsoft may license Marimba's technology, integrate it with its existing network distribution proprietary product SMS or develop a new product. All the company is saying for now is that some future version of Internet Explorer will be compatible with the format.
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