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Excite@Home to Offer Software Via Subsciption

Excite@Home on Monday announced plans to to offer software via subscriptions across the @Home service, hoping to reinvigorate broadband Internet access.

The company said the software-on-demand service allows @Home broadband subscribers to purchase use of hundreds of today's popular software without a lengthy download; however, users will still need to perform a one-time download for a client-based "software player" to accesses the software-on-demand content.

As part of the announcement, Excite@Home announced partnerships with Into Networks, Inc., for its IntoMedia software delivery platform and Media Station for its SelectPlay service.

"This service completely changes the software experience for consumers," said Byron Smith, executive vice president, consumer broadband services and chief marketing officer for Excite@Home. "This is yet another way that Excite@Home is leveraging its backbone in combination with cutting-edge technology to deliver state-of-the-art applications to broadband subscribers."

The Into Networks IntoMedia platform will provide @Home U.S. subscribers with on-demand access to a selection of games, education and business software. @Home users will have the option of subscribing to software-on-demand for each individual channel for $5.99 per month or for all channels for $9.99 per month. The deal features Into Networks as a preferred provider for software-on-demand applications for the @Home Games, Education, Family and Horoscope channels.

"Most consumers and small businesses will use software delivered from the Internet, and broadband is an ideal delivery vehicle," said Vincent Grosso, CEO of Into Networks. "Since October 1999, Into Networks has secured last mile deployment agreements reaching more than 85 percent of cable broadband subscribers, and more than 57 percent of all broadband subscribers in the U.S. As the leading broadband service provider, Excite@Home has been an important partner for our company from the very beginning. We are excited about the opportunity to provide their high-speed subscribers with a great new experience."

For Media Station's SelectPlay offering, an all-category unlimited-play monthly subscription fee is $9.95 while the rental fee (available only to monthly subscribers) for a 48-hour period for new-release titles is $3.95.

With this new service, registered users receive a free 30-day trial and can use hundreds of leading education and entertainment software titles without charge for one month. If users choose the service, they can continue the service on a monthly basis, either by subscription or pay-per-use. The software services offer titles to appeal to all ages, from games for kids to business-related software for adults.