Microsoft Corp. said 13 content providers will participate in its Microsoft Interactive Television Media Partners program. Initial providers include CUC International; Discovery Communications; ESPN Enterprises; Foote, Cone & Belding; HSN Interactive; Interactive Network; Starwave Corp.; Time Warner Interactive; Tribune Interactive Network; and the U.S. Postal Service.
Valvoline opened a site on the Web linked to the Indianapolis 500. The site features race information, historic racing photos, technical drawings of race cars and current data on Indy 500 qualifying times and statistics (http://www.valvoline.com). Warner Bros. today starts hyping "Batman Forever," its summer flick starring Val Kilmer (http://batmanforever.com). Bat-fans can read production notes and cast biographies; post notes to characters at the Gotham City Post Office; hear advance samples of the soundtrack; and check out the Batcave's futuristic devices. NBC News and ICon International are promoting Tom Brokaw's May 26 profile of Microsoft's Bill Gates at http://www.brokaw.com. Visitors can access text, photos and video clips before the broadcast and will be able to add feedback after the show.
America Online formally announced that a preview of its World Wide Web browser is available to Windows subscribers. Web access is being integrated into AOL's topic areas, so that users who click on the "Sports" icon, for example, will be able to access sports information from AOL and the Web. The commercial version of the browser is expected to be available by next month.
Cybercash, a Reston, Va., electronic commerce company, last week launched its electronic payment encryption system on the Web. Software is available for download at http://www.cybercash.com. The system is designed to allow consumers to buy goods on the Internet safely.