PointCast revamps service, focuses on channels

Summary:NEW YORK -- PointCast Inc. is revamping its look and feel to offer users more customized information, and will be taking its act onto the Web, CEO David Dorman said today.

NEW YORK -- PointCast Inc. is revamping its look and feel to offer users more customized information, and will be taking its act onto the Web, CEO David Dorman said today.

At the same time, the company is going after corporate users more strongly, hoping to turn the push service into an enterprise news broadcaster.




Dorman tells ZDNN there's plenty of pop left in push.




Dorman, speaking to reporters at the Jupiter Communications Online Services show, said that the company would be including more than 25 "channels" dedicated to a vertical market, each with its own sponsor. The channels will replace the Industry Insider sections now available on the service.

When a user signs up for the service, the software will recommend subscription to different channels, based on the personal information the user supplies. For instance, a lawyer for a telephone company would be signed up for the legal and telecommunications channels.

And later this year, the company will roll out a Web-based service that uses those defaults to provide personalized information over the Internet. Dorman said he plans to combine that data with search capabilities and e-mail.

Dorman said he hopes the move will make the PointCast Web site a "portal" along the lines of aol.com and my.yahoo.com.

But the new CEO, who has been with the company less than six months, doesn't plan to abandon the traditional push client. And he doesn't think it will be made extinct by the push channels now being offered through both Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) and Netscape Communications Corp.'s (NSCP) browsers.

He maintains that the PointCast system will win out over the browser because the client/server based technology behind his system performs better than the browsers, which operate only on the client.

"If we work better than they do, they won't have an advantage just because they're already on the desktop," he said.

Dorman also plans to go after the corporate market, hoping to sell the system as a fast, efficient and cheap way to deliver news and information, both external and internal, throughout the enterprise.

There are already more than 1,000 companies using PointCast's intranet tools, he said.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Networking

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