Intel Announces Web Appliance Strategy

Intel Corp. today announced its strategy for entering the consumer Web appliance market, saying it will offer Intel-branded Web appliances designed for accessing the Internet along with services and management capabilities.

The devices and services will be offered to consumers by telecommunications operators and Internet service providers (ISPs), Intel said. The strategy aims to provide telecom companies and ISPs a cost-effective platform for offering their services and remotely managing the new appliances.

The first Intel Web appliance will be available in mid-2000 and will be based on the Linux operating system and use Celeron processors, said Bill Calder, a spokesman for Intel. The prototype of the devices looks like a small television set with a built-in telephone handset and a keyboard. The idea is to integrate Internet access with telephony features such as call management and unified messaging, Intel said in a written statement.

The remote management capabilities are important in the overall package because they will make it possible for telecom companies and ISPs to send upgrades down the line, Calder said.

Intel has an agreement with Telcordia Technologies Inc. in place, under which Telcordia will serve as Intel's telephony solutions provider for the Web appliance. Telcordia will provide enhanced telephone functionality, the Intel statement said. Intel is also working with Lucent Technologies Inc. to provide a unified messaging solution for service providers.

Intel's announcement comes as the Consumer Electronics Show gets under way in Las Vegas. Prototypes of Intel's devices will be on display at the Intel booth.

Further details about them and the company's strategy are expected to be made available at the show.

Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080, or at http://www.intel.com/.

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