Apple unites online services

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Apple Computer, Cupertino, Calif., on Thursday moved all online efforts into a new Apple Internet Services division, signaling Apple's latest move toward mainstream technology and away from Apple-only standards. The division will take over online content and services previously spread among several units. Apple over the next year will evolve eWorld, an online service with just 115,000 subscribers, into an Internet-based service to expand its appeal. Apple next year also will introduce Apple-branded Web sites for targeted markets like creative professionals, families and students.

Apple's move to the Internet is a further sign that online services are moving away from proprietary technology. The MCI/Delphi online joint venture is being built on the open Internet architecture, and Microsoft Corp., after initially backing away from the Internet, now is embracing it in its new Microsoft Network online service.

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