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AOL signs deal for Viewpoint graphics code

America Online is paying the Web graphics software maker $9 million for a license that's related to Viewpoint's applications development system. Also: a $1 million services deal.

America Online is paying Web graphics software maker Viewpoint $9 million for a source code license that's related to Viewpoint's applications development system.

Under the deal announced Wednesday, the massive Internet service provider (ISP) gains access to the code that's used to create some of the updated features in its recently launched AOL 9.0 Optimized package. Among the elements it created with the Viewpoint technology are the service's new SuperBuddy icons, AOL Instant Greetings, customizable desktop themes and the Kids Online package.

The two companies also announced a $1 million services agreement. They did not specify what kind of work AOL would receive under the deal but reported that they plan to collaborate on technology and product development efforts.

AOL owns a minority stake in New York-based Viewpoint, which derives 50 percent of its annual business from the ISP's parent company, Time Warner. The two have worked together since 2001, partnering to develop interactive advertisements for AOL customers, including eBay and Old Navy.

Based on the source code licensing agreement, AOL gets its hands on the underpinnings of the Viewpoint platform, an application development and visualization system used to create Web graphics. The Viewpoint software enables the construction of media that mixes audio, video and 3D images. The system also supports multiple Web graphics software formats, including Macromedia's Flash, Apple Computer's QuickTime and Adobe Systems' SVG Viewer.

The companies also announced that Sreekant Kotay, Viewpoint's executive vice president of strategy, has taken the post of senior vice president for client products at Dulles, Va.-based AOL. Ales Holecek, co-designer of the Viewpoint platform, becomes responsible for the software maker's entire product line.