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Trellix's new plan: Give it away

In what appears to be a shift in its business plans, the start-up offers a new version of its Web site building software backed by a new strategy that targets small businesses.

Trellix is relying on a time-tested approach--giving its product away--to reach new customers.

In what appears to be a shift in its business plans, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based start-up today rolled out a new version of its Web site building software backed by a new strategy that targets the small business user and consumer.

Trellix will make a new version of Trellix Web available free to small businesses and consumers through partnerships with Web hosting providers Sage Networks and Prodigy Business Systems, hardware OEMs, and online communities.

Trellix, together with its partners, wants to provide a system to get regular people to understand the Web, build Web sites, publish them, manage them, and enhance them.

"It is our belief that everyone will be building Web sites," said Trellix vice president of marketing Eric Sall. "So our decision is to put Trellix in everyone's hands."

Trellix was founded by software industry pioneer Dan Bricklin. Last year, the company debuted its desktop applications suite Trellix 2.0, a variation on the common word processor, tailored to Web use. Bricklin was cocreator in the 1970s of the first electronic spreadsheet called VisiCalc.

Privately held Trellix has not released any sales figures for its product. The company said it has no plans to abandon Trellix 2.0 or the corporate market it serves. The new strategy is an extension of this business plan, not an alternative to it, company executives explained.

Trellix Web provides an alternative to hiring professional Web designers and consultants and is better suited to the needs and challenges of small businesses and individuals, according to Sall. Trellix Web lets users create and publish Web sites without having to learn HTML, FTP, or graphic design, and without being restricted to a few pages or a few preset designs, the company said.

Trellix Web includes a one-step publishing option that automates all the steps required to get a Web site from the desktop onto the Web. For new sites, it integrates with a hosting company's registration and domain name procedures, and then automates the uploading of the entire site and its associated files.

For now, the Trellix Web product will be available for free download for small business users and consumers who have Internet service accounts with Prodigy or Sage Networks, the company said.

The company also announced a bundling agreement with Micron, where Trellix Web will be bundled on upcoming Micron Millennia PC lines targeted at the small business market.

An associate referral agreement with Amazon.com, and an affiliate agreement with Be Free, both enable Trellix customers to earn money from referring their Web site visitors to selected merchants, the company said.

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