For Max Hastings, editor-in-chief at The Telegraph Plc, the release of an Internet edition of the Daily Telegraph newspaper is a bridge to the future. But not a strong bridge – more of an exciting pontoon. He was speaking at the launch of The Electronic Telegraph, an edited version of the Daily Telegraph newspaper that contains news, sport, city stories, features, advertising and an electronic mail letters page. It will be published from Monday to Friday, with the day’s edition available from 7am. Using hypertext links, users can move through each edition and through previous editions, although at present this only reaches back five days. The pages can be reached directly as a web browser on the World Wide Web and will be free to users for the first six months at least. However, before readers can gain access to the service they will have to register their details, including name, address and electronic mail address with the system. This, says the company, will enable the Electronic Telegraph to monitor its readership and its interests. David Pugh, marketing director at the Telegraph, sees the Electronic Telegraph as an experiment that will enable the company to gain experience in a type of publishing that will be important at some point. Profits from the venture are not expected until the next century. In December, for those without access to the Internet, the Telegraph will release a starter pack which will include a customised version of Netscape Mosaic software from Mountain View-based Mosaic Communications Corp, an operation manual and Internet access via London-based access provider Demon Internet Ltd. This will cost approximately UKP25 and then UKP10 a month for Demon Internet access. A version for younger readers, The Young Electronic Telegraph, will be launched in the next year. The service uses Netra file servers from Sun Microsystems Inc which was also involved in the development of the project. The Electronic Telegraph is available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
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