, a startup founded by three former Apple Computer
executives, is planning to
launch a service this fall that lets users browse the Web via their
The company said today that it is licensing a WebTV reference design for
set-top boxes and other devices to consumer electronics companies that will
manufacture the systems. The first licensees will be announced next month,
according to the company.
WebTV will also offer a subscription-based online service that lets
consumers use the set-top boxes to surf the Web and send email. No
pricing for the service has been announced.
WebTV is not the first company to target Internet access to TV viewers.
Diba, another start-up formed earlier
this year by a former Oracle executive
and a former Apple engineer, has enlisted the help of Hitachi to launch a series of set-top
boxes that will provide Internet access. Those systems will ship later this year,
priced from $150 to $300.
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