Monday, July 07, 2003

BW Online | July 14, 2003 | Dusting Cobwebs off a Web Staple

BW Online | July 14, 2003 | Dusting Cobwebs off a Web Staple "Plenty has been written about Napster, the online music pioneer with technology that refuses to die. But it's not the only former Internet highflier with nine lives. Remember PointCast? It automatically scooped information off the Web and delivered it to your PC's screen saver.
Now, that same technology is being tested for use in AOL Time Warner (AOL ) Communicator e-mail software, with familiar features such as a screen saver and a ticker with data ranging from stock quotes to sports scores. "Anyone who remembers PointCast would look at this and say: 'Wow,"' says former Infogate CEO Clifford Boro, whose company once owned PointCast.
It has been quite a ride. In 1997, PointCast boasted 1.5 million users, had raised $48 million, and was sitting on a $450 million buyout offer from News Corp. (NWS ) But PointCast was too early. Broadband connections were rare, and users grumbled that PointCast was too slow. In 1999, Infogate bought PointCast for just $7 million. Infogate fixed PointCast's code, making it faster and leaner, then quietly sold the technology and patents to AOL in March. PointCast's time may finally have come."

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