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Disney/Infoseek Launch GO Network

Walt Disney Co. and Infoseek Corp. Tuesday officially launched their much-anticipated portal GO Network following a successful beta run.

According to the companies, the GO Network on its first day is expected to boast more than 8 million registered users, with an anticipated audience share of more than 36 percent. These numbers indicate the network will rank within the top five Internet sites.

GO Network focuses on three primary customer objectives: simplicity, control and confidence. Towards these efforts, GO promises simplified user tasks, tab-based navigation, and brand name content from the Disney empire, including features from ABCNews, ESPN, Disney.com and Infoseek.

"With GO Network, we started with a clean slate. Its design was guided by insights gained through extensive consumer research, such as the need for simplicity, control and confidence," said Harry Motro, president and chief executive officer of Infoseek.

"We believe by building a site based on these insights and offering the best brands, content and services on the Web, we are setting a new standard in helping people use the Internet in meaningful ways in their daily lives."

The network is divided into 18 content centers or GO Network Centers. In addition to offering Disney partner content, subjects are geared mainly to families, women, and lifestyle concerns. In total there are more than 50 various areas on the network.

The site's universal navigation bar will is available on every branded partner site, enabling users to get back to their point of origin. In addition, the universal registration feature allows users to register once for various content and services offered without having to input personal information multiple times. The universal personalization offers users to create personal profiles and use local services as the system stores personal data.

The tab navigation feature enables browsing through various network centers while remaining connected to their original entry point. While in a network center, users can click on a related Web site tab and another tab offering community chat groups relating to the subject.

GO Network also provides an optional screening capability dubbed GOguardian that filters inappropriate adult content. Parents can set the GOguardian control feature to weed out adult Internet search results, and notifies parents when minors attempt to register for such content

Disney and Infoseek began development of GO in June 1998, following Disney's purchase of 43 percent of the search site and Starwave, amounting to a $70 million investment. The network's beta was unveiled on Dec. 14.