Pointcast Inc was so slow to get its news and information broadcasting push technology up and running on the Macintosh that Apple Computer Inc is going to do the job itself by integrating it into the operating system. Yesterday, Apple announced that push technology from Pointcast and Marimba Inc would be part of the forthcoming Mac OS 8 operating system, due to be launched next month. In addition to the existing news and information available on the PointCast Network, Mac OS 8 users will also be able to receive news directly from Apple directly via a dedicated Apple channel on PointCast’s service. To date Macintosh users have been treated as virtual second class citizens by PointCast, which targets its services at Microsoft environments. Version 2.0 of its viewer is available on Windows 95 and NT only, and while Power Mac users can use PointCast 1.0.1, users of older 68000-based Macs have no way of receiving PointCast at all. The PointCast viewer will also be downloadable from Apple’s web site and the Apple channel will be made available to other Mac OS PointCast users at a later, unspecified date. Apple, which back in January said it would be using Marimba’s auto-polling software, says it will also include the Castanet Tuner in Mac OS 8, enabling users to receive applications and multimedia content through channels delivered by Castanet Transmitters. Microsoft Corp has recently stepped up its campaign to enable Windows to be used as a tuner for receiving Internet broadcasts by partnering with push companies and promoting its Channel Definition Format for content providers. Version 4.0 of Microsoft Internet Explorer browser will include Microsoft’s home-grown push technologies and the browser itself is being used to front-end the next-generation ‘Memphis’ release of Windows 95.
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