The software is available now at a special introductory pricing of $29.95 for Windows or the Macintosh operating system. A NetCard viewer attached to the postcard lets users of a variety of consumer email products look at the postcards, which are compressed before sending to reduce transmission times.
While software such as NetCard takes advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the Net, some analysts think that it will have little luck as anything but a novelty item. Although the end result might be compelling, actually receiving the postcards is time-consuming and cumbersome.
Eric Brown, an analyst with market research firm Forrester Research wonders, for example, just how fast the PictureWorks product downloads its messages. He pointed to the handful of other multimedia email packages already on the market that haven't taken off.
"The time it takes to download a big multimedia attachment is going to anger the consumer," Brown predicted. He said the "strain on the consumer" remains the largest stumbling block confronting products like NetCard.