Originally a project of Time Warner Interactive, The Palace
, virtual world chat software, has formed a new private corporation with investors including Intel Corp., Softbank and Warner Music Group, a division of Time Warner. No company will have a controlling interest. Mike Maerz, formerly VP of Intel's Internet and communications group, was named president and CEO of The Palace. Jim Bumgardner and Mark Jeffrey, who created The Palace at Time Warner Interactive, have joined the new company as chief technology officer and director of commercial marketing, respectively.
The Palace focuses on creating complimentary technology to Web browswers for providing real-time interactivity between people by allowing users to create their own appearances (or avatars) by importing photos and graphics. Companies including Twentieth Century Fox, Ralph Lauren and MTV: Music Television have already created Palace servers to address their own audiences.