America Online and Gateway are introducing a Web appliance with a new version of AOL's Internet service that lets users access the Internet from anywhere in their homes. The appliance, the first byproduct of a pact between AOL and Gateway, features AOL's new "Instant AOL" service, which allows users to access e-mail, instant messaging or content from a touchscreen Web appliance located anywhere in the house. The device will compete against a similar product from Microsoft Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp., which jointly unveiled a Web appliance in August that featured the MSN Internet service. Separately, Netpliance, which marketed the I-opener Web appliance, said it no longer would market the device. Instead the company plans to license the product to other companies, such as AT&T Corp., and focus instead on infrastructure and managed services. The company said it is cutting 93 jobs, or 38% of its work force.
Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.