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Egghead cracks online market

Retailing giant Egghead Software begins selling products over the Internet, proof that the medium continues to make inroads to traditional sales and marketing channels.

Retailing giant Egghead Software today began selling products over the Internet, proof that the medium continues to make inroads on traditional sales and marketing channels.

The company was founded on the premise of selling software in stores and has built a the industry's largest nationwide retail chain. But today the company began selling Sun Microsystems' Java WorkShop--a Web development tool--for an introductory price of $99.

"Sun has never sold its products in traditional retail channels, and Egghead has never before sold software that's deliverable over the Internet," Marcy Savage, general manager of Egghead's Web site, said in a statement today. "Introducing Java Workshop is a step forward for both of us."

Egghead sells the software on its Digital Direct Web site, which is linked to its corporate home page. The company plans to offer 200 software titles by year's end, a company spokesman said. Consumers buy the software using their credit cards.

The company says it does not expect the Internet sales to cannibalize its stores. That's because the company intends to sell software online that is less consumer-oriented and more oriented toward Web developers.