PointCast to hit Australia

PointCast to hit Australia

PointCast is coming to Australia, with a little aid from Com Tech and Kerry Packer.

Although all three were tightlipped about the upcoming announcement, numerous industry sources have confirmed that Com Tech will be bringing a local version of Pointcast, an Internet news service, to Australia. It is understood that Com Tech's new online business division will be responsible for the project, sources said.

Local content looks like it will be provided by Kerry Packer's PBL and/or the Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) news organisations - at least initially.

PointCast officials in the US confirmed that the organisation is negotiating with Australian companies to bring the service here, but claim nothing has yet been finalised.

Similarly, David Shein, managing director of Com Tech, confirmed that his company had been in negotiations with PointCast and PBL but claimed no deal had been stitched up yet.

"We've spoken to PointCast as we've spoken to a lot of other vendors in that Internet/intranet space," he said.

However, David Spence, president and chief operating officer at OzEmail, who was also in negotiations with PointCast at one stage, says it is his understanding that Com Tech will team with Kerry Packer's news organisations to bring Pointcast to Australia.

The PointCast Network "pushes" news out to users' desktops, displaying the latest list of headlines on a screensaver whenever a user's com-puter is idle. Users then click on the headline to access the full text of a story. Of late PointCast has also made an attempt to enter the intranet space, forging a partnership with Lotus and announcing intranet server software called I-Server.

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