SAN FRANCISCO (03/13/2000) - Excite@Home Inc. is upgrading its proprietary service, tightly tying high-speed services to a new @Home 2.0 browser that gives one-click access to more media-rich content, personalization tools, and a new help center.
The @Home 2000 service, unveiled today, increases the number of e-mail addresses @Home customers can have from three to seven, and boosts personal Web storage space from 5MB to 15MB. One Excite@Home account can now support up to five PCs with one account, up from three.
The new software is Excite@Home's first chance to "capitalize on the promise of the merger of Excite.com and @Home," says Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president of online products and services for Excite@Home.
Excite@Home says its 1.5 million customers will be able to upgrade to @Home 2000 at the end of March, but availability depends on distribution by cable partners. Excite@Home has contracts with 22 cable operators, including AT&T and Cox Communications, to provide Internet access through cable modems.
The launch comes at a pivotal time for the company, which faces increased competition from Baby Bells who are marketing Net access via high-speed digital subscriber lines. Also looming is competition from Net-access king America Online, which is in the process of merging with content Goliath Time Warner, parent company of the cable broadband firm Road Runner.
More Content Faster
Built on the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser software architecture, the @Home 2.0 browser is designed to simplify common tasks such as retrieving e-mail and connecting to custom content. It replaces the IE 5.0 browser buttons with its own branded buttons, which link to Excite@Home shopping, search, and community destinations. Users will be able to drag and drop modules built into the browser to further tailor it to personal preferences.
Along with adding more video clips and graphically rich interactive content, Excite@Home now offers video tutorials in a Help 2000 section. Help will guide you through commonly asked technical support questions, like how to add a second e-mail address to accounts or how to protect children from accessing Web sites deemed inappropriate.