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Spyglass eyes Net TV deals

Spyglass signs a licensing pact to run its browser software on Internet TVs and handheld communicators running Integrated's operating system, perhaps its biggest push yet into this burgeoning market.

Spyglass (SPYG) today signed a licensing pact with Integrated Systems (ISI) to run its browser software on Internet TVs and handheld communicators than run on ISI's operating system, perhaps its biggest push yet into this burgeoning market.

The deal comes less than two weeks after Spyglass struck a similar pact with Bandai Digital Entertainment to provide a custom browser for Pippin, a product that provides Internet access via television. Similar licensing deals are expected by year's end as the company aggressively taps this growing market, company sources said.

"Spyglass envisions accessing the Web from within all kinds of products, services, or devices that people are familiar with and use in their everyday lives," Spyglass CEO Douglas Colbeth said. The agreement announced today is a prime example, he added.

This fast-growing market also is helping Spyglass make a comeback in the Web software business, although Microsoft and Netscape Communications, through its a newly formed affiliate Navio, are hot on its heels. The deal with Integrated Systems is not exclusive.

Integrated Systems is a popular operating system for handheld communicators and Net TVs. The company's customers include Sony, Mercedes, Nokia, and Philips Electronics.

The licensing pact may be expanded to other applications as well, according to Steve Houtchens, director of new technology for Integrated Systems. For example, a car navigation system that runs on ISI's so-called pSOS developers also could use Spyglass's Web software to make the interface simpler and more user-friendly, he said.