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A Sidekick for Starfish

Hoping to marry its personal information manager with Internet email, Starfish Software plans to introduce Internet Sidekick this week.

Hoping to marry its personal information manager with Internet email, Starfish Software plans to introduce Internet Sidekick this week.

The product is part of a trend toward integrating scheduling capabilities with the application in which most users make their appointments: email. Microsoft has announced plans for such an application, called Outlook, that will combine email and personal information management features in a single package so that users can automatically insert appointments in their calendars.

But while Outlook will require users to standardize on Microsoft's email software, Internet Sidekick works with all standard POP3 (Post Office protocol) email clients, including Netscape Communications' Navigator email software, Qualcomm's Eudora, and Microsoft's Internet Mail.

With Internet Sidekick, users can select a meeting time through the application's contact file and calendar. The application then automatically sends the email to the other participants over the Internet or a corporate intranet. The email message can be incorporated in other calendars in Internet Sidekick or other personal information managers.

"Our vision with this system is to build collaboration on top of open Internet messaging," Starfish Chairman Philippe Kahn said today. "Our strategy is to be neutral in the Microsoft-Netscape wars."

On Thursday, Starfish will post a trial version of the software on its home page. Internet Sidekick will retail for $69.95. Users of Starfish's older Sidekick for Windows 95 can upgrade to the new product for $49.95.