Internet

Lycos targets non-PC users

The Internet portal will announce tomorrow it is reaching out to non-computer users in an attempt to increase its following and distribute its content more widely.

Internet portal Lycos is reaching out to non-computer users in an attempt to increase its following and distribute its content more widely.

Waltham, Mass.-based Lycos and Landel Telecom, a San Jose, Calif., maker of standalone email appliances, tomorrow will announce a partnership to distribute Lycos Web content to users of Landel's products, according to Landel.

Landel makes MailBug, a self-contained device that allows users to send and receive email without a personal computer. The unit, which plugs into a standard telephone line and doubles as a caller ID device, will carry news, weather and stock information from Lycos free of charge for MailBug users.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The move is the latest example of a major portal reaching out to customers through a non-traditional medium in the wake of reports of stagnating traffic numbers.

For example, America Online recently signed a deal with Wal-Mart, and Yahoo inked a similar pact with Kmart in an attempt to tap mainstream American consumers.

In addition, many portal sites have partnerships with cellular and paging companies to deliver data to portable devices. Earlier this month, Lycos struck a deal with Ericsson to deliver Internet content to mobile phones.

Similarly to Landel, West Coast telephone giant Pacific Bell offers eMessage, a phone-less email device. And InfoGear makes the iPhone, an all-in-one phone and Net access appliance.

Landel's MailBug device is available at Fry's Electronics retail stores and through certain catalog distributors and Web sites. The device sells for about $130, and monthly service costs $10.