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Show Attendees Look to Expand Web Use

    BOSTON--While Netheads on the cutting edge are looking to incorporate virtual reality applets, Java links, and other gee-whiz technologies, attendees at this week's Email World and Internet Expo here are mostly looking for ways to expand their companies' activities on the Web.

    "Right now our company has a generic set of Web pages that's near useless for generating any revenue," said Sam Reynolds, an engineer with Polaroid. "We'd like to buy and sell digital-imaging equipment on the Internet."

    "As a company we could exploit the Internet a lot more," said Steve Akillian, software engineer with HPR Incorporated. HPR develops software for the health-care industry, and Akillian hopes to make software and code patches available to customers via the Internet.

    Otis Elevator Company has a Web site, but its content is targeted only to North American customers. Peter Kowalchuk, director of international communications at Otis, is at the show looking for software to broaden the site's appeal. "I want to add content and deploy servers for different languages," he said. "In the future, I'd like to develop my own business on the Web or help my daughter do that."

    One attendee said he already uses the Web for online shopping. "I use the Web to buy computer games, flowers--all kinds of things," said Michael Osborn, an engineer with EMC Corporation in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. "I'd like to use it to talk to friends, but the videoconferencing software is still too slow," he added.

    Most attendees here said they still use the Internet primarily for research. "I use it for doing research to get equipment support," said Joe Tuttle, systems manager with Guarantee Fund Management. "But it's scary because you don't know if the information is valid. I always caution people to take anything they find on the Internet with a grain of salt."