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Microsoft chooses PointCast for Internet Explorer 4.0

Microsoft announced yesterday that PointCast would be the preferred news carrier for the Internet Explorer 4.0 Active Desktop. This deal will bring PointCast to the millions of users expected to install IE 4.0 next year. The Active Desktop component of Internet Explorer 4.0 merges yours Windows desktop with Internet Explorer, creating a dynamic desktop that can change constantly, and be configured however you wish. A default view, or "channel" as they're calling it, on the Active Desktop will provide streaming news items provided by PointCast. Additionally, PointCast has agreed to make Internet Explorer its preferred browser and will include an channel in its own service to MSNBC. By the way, many people have written to me wondering what happened to News Viewer, the cool Microsoft news program that was based largely around MSNBC. I was told that News Viewer was an interim product designed to hold the fort until Active Desktop appeared and now it seems likely that the product will be recast as a PointCast front end or be cancelled altogether. This is just speculation on my part, however

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