At today's Internet Expo, Web World, and Email World, dozens of software vendors showed off their Internet offerings and rushed to plant stakes in the fertile soil of the Internet.
The following announcements were among the show's highlights:
--SoftArc announced FirstClass 3.5, a new version of the company's Macintosh and Windows client/server email and groupware software.
Taking a page from Netscape, the company has created a plug-in architecture for its client software so that third-party developers can add new capabilities to the program, such as whiteboard software, voice- and videoconferencing, and World Wide Web browsers. Developers will use the FirstClass Client Extensions toolkit to create the plug-ins.
Hoping to boost the product's appeal to mobile and remote users, FirstClass 3.5 comes with a feature for reading and responding to email and conference postings when disconnected from the network. Through a personal replication agent, users can schedule times to connect to the server via modem, LAN, or the Internet to replicate database information.
All of the FirstCass 3.5 products will ship in the third quarter. The FirstClass Server will sell for $495, including five user licenses. The client software is free.
--Galacticomm demonstrated version 2.0 of its Worldgroup groupware and email software. To better integrate its proprietary software with the Internet, the company is bundling in a Netscape Navigator 2.0 plug-in that gives Web users enhanced access to a Worldgroup server. The product is currently in beta testing.
--CE Software announced WebArranger 2.0, a utility for organizing and capturing information from the Internet. The new version of the software comes with a feature that automatically validates uniform resource locators (URLs) by checking to see that Web pages are still active. The product, which is available now for $100, also includes the ForeFront Group's WebWhacker, which allows users to capture text and images from Web sites for offline browsing. A 30-day evaluation copy of WebArranger can be downloaded from CE Software's home page.
--NewView joined the growing fray of Internet parental control services with iscreen. Aimed at parents concerned about children getting access to objectionable content on the Net, iscreen includes client software that works with standard Web browsers, as well as a service component that costs parents $40 per year. Parents can use the service to define detailed profiles for their kids and, unlike other client-only filtering programs, iscreen checks in with NewView's Web server before allowing kids access to Internet sites.
--Bigfoot Partners launched a Web-based directory service to help users locate email and mailing addresses, fax numbers, and phone numbers. The free service, called Bigfoot, includes more than 3 million entries from around the world. The company claims that it is adding more than 1 million new entries per month but that number is still dwarfed by the 10 million listings claimed by Banyan Systems' free Switchboard service.