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September 21, 1995

WIN95 HYPE SEEN BY SOFTKEY AS WAY OF SELLING MORE CD-ROMS

By CBR Staff Writer

SoftKey International Inc, the CD-ROM publisher formed from a merger between SoftKey Software Products Inc, WordStar International Inc and Spinnaker Software Corp (CI No 2,348), plans to use Windows95 as another channel to market for its CD-ROM titles. Softkey said it believed the hype surrounding Windows95 would lead consumers to ditch their old machines and buy new ones, preferably with CD-ROM drives so they could use its own CD-ROM software which will be bundled with Windows95 within the next five months. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said the European market for CD-ROM software had changed with users now expecting localised content. Softkey plans to produce titles in nine different languages and will carry out language conversions from its Israeli development centre, which the company acquired when it bought Future Vision Holdings Inc (CI No 2,708). Softkey also bought Tewi Verlag GmBH (CI No 2,175) with a similar intention. It believes the German CD-ROM publisher and distributor will give it a firm foothold in German markets with its range of 120 consumer titles. Softkey’s products are targeted at the budget software market and typically cost between ú13 and ú50. Its main route to market is retail stores. It has now launched Power Pack, a range of education and entertainment titles costing between ú19 and ú25, Key Kids, a range of children’sentertainment titles and the first 11 titles it bought from Future Vision.

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