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PointCast, MS to prompt 'push' Web broadcasting

Internet "push" pioneer PointCast is opening up its technology so that end-users can receive news direct to their desktops even if the content provider isn't allied with PointCast itself.

A feature called PointCast Connections in PointCast 2.0 will allow publishers to send information to user desktops. The product is slated to be shown today at the Internet World exhibition in Los Angeles this week, and to go into beta testing next month.

Separately, Microsoft announced Channel Definition Format (CDF), a proposed World Wide Web Consortium standard for broadcasting Web content. So far, push developers including PointCast and BackWeb have been incompatible with each other. Microsoft also said it plans to expand the range of "push" client software it will bundle with Internet Explorer 4.0 to include BackWeb and others, as well as the previously announced PointCast tie-up