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Quarterdeck unveils WebTalk for the Mac

Quarterdeck has debuted a Macintosh version of WebTalk, its real-time Internet chat system. WebTalk will eventually include video and will allow users to control what others see, according to officials.

SAN FRANCISCO--Quarterdeck is demonstrating a Macintosh version of WebTalk, its real-time Internet chat system, at Macworld. The $49.95 system will be available this quarter and requires Macintosh System 7.5.1 or higher, and a 14.4-kbps or faster modem.

WebTalk allows users to integrate the Web, voice and text chat, and email by using any browser, according to Bob Kutnick, senior vice president of Quarterdeck. WebTalk also features compression/decompression software, called Codec, that allows users to reduce voice compression if they receive a poor connection.

Kutnick said future plans for WebTalk are going to put Quarterdeck ahead of competitors who focus only on voice technology. "We're unique because the voice feature is only the beginning," he said. "Down the road we're going to add our collaborative computing module that allows you to share data. I will actually be able to take you somewhere, whether it be on the Web or to a spreadsheet, and talk to you at the same time. The idea is to be able to share data, voice, and eventually, video," said Kutnick.

"Four or five people can be talking at the same time and one person can control what everyone else sees and hears," he said. "Telecommuting will definitely be mainstream with these additions." He added that this technology will be available by the end of the year.