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Intranet users spin CDs

Targeting corporate users, two vendors introduce products that make it easier to distribute data stored on CD-ROMs via intranets.

Targeting corporate users, two vendors are introducing products that make it easier to distribute data stored on CD-ROMs via intranets.

A standalone machine from Meridian Data and a peripheral device from Axis Communications let users easily access and share CD-ROMs over a network.

The StorPoint CD peripheral from Axis plugs into existing hardware and lets any Web browser read CDs formatted in HTML or other protocols over a network. The network peripheral works in NetWare, Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows for Workgroups, OS/2, Unix, and Web-based intranet environments.

Based on a 32-bit RISC processor, StorPoint CD is priced at $799 for Ethernet and $999 for Token Ring. The product will be available in mid-October.

CD IntraNet, the Meridian Data product, is a standalone unit that likewise lets surfers use Web browsers to access CD-ROMs over a network. The product, due to ship by October, includes both hardware and software. CD IntraNet is bundled with Windows NT Workstation and Netscape Communications' FastTrack Server.

Pricing for the CD Intranet, which includes a Pentium server, averages $12,000 for a version that can handle 14 CD drives, while a $27,000 model can handle 56 drives.

For current customers, Meridian will sell the software for about $500 as an upgrade (sans Web server), but the software is not being marketed separately.

Axis also will announce a network-ready digital camera called NetEye 200, to be marketed as a way to spruce up Web pages or a local area network with live pictures. The $1,300 device attaches directly to a local network and acts as a standalone Web server.