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October 28, 1999

Winfire Web Marketing Tool Launches Next Week

By CBR Staff Writer

Next week sees the launch of the first full version of the Winfire web accelerator from the company of the same name. The company has signed up about 90 partners in all, about 20 of which have agreed to be distribution partners. Among the names announced next week will be Upside, FreeRealTime.com, Sporting News and PBS Online. Of those some, like Upside, will be ready straight away with the self-branded tool on their web sites next week, while some, like PBS Online are in the midst of redesigning their sites and including Winfire in that redesign, says CEO David Kopp.

Winfire works by providing a set of icons and a search bar for users to get to their preferred sites more quickly, according to the company. In reality, it’s a pure marketing and ad tool, with the main benefits going to the companies who secure the placements on the tool. Initially they are free – probably until the end of the year, says Kopp – but later the company will charge for placement both on the tool itself and on the pull-down menus. Those slots will be sold to the highest bidder. Users can delete the icons on the tool bar, but cannot alter the pull-down menus. In addition, Winfire will get money from a percentage of ad revenues and any e-commerce that derive directly from the use of the tool.

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