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Spyglass Unveils Compact Web Browser for Set-Top Boxes

Spyglass Inc. today announced the release of a re-designed version of the Spyglass Device Mosaic 3.0 browser.

Spyglass said the small memory footprint Web browser is designed to provide digital cable, satellite, and consumer electronics companies with customizable Web-based solutions.

The company added that the re-design led to a significantly reduced browser size; while Mosaic 3.0 is fully HTML 3.2 compliant, it still manages a code size of under 400KB. The new design enables Spyglass Device Mosaic to act as an application platform for creating a number of interactive services, such as e-mail or television program guides, that go beyond simple Web browsing.

Spyglass also said the product's modular architecture allows Mosaic 3.0 to be used as an HTML engine that enables multiple applications to be run on a single device. Since each application re-uses the same core engine, less memory is needed and overall product cost is reduced, according to Spyglass.

Finnish communications-giant Nokia is one of the first companies to license the Spyglass browser source code for use in its digital cable, satellite and terrestrial set-top boxes products.

"The Web browser technology is an important element in an online application suite," said Randy Littleson, vice president and general manager for Spyglass. "But, increasingly, our customers want a complete solution for everything, including less flashy, but essential services, such as on-screen billing or ordering pay-per-view videos. The new architecture enables those types of applications as well."

Architecture diagrams of the browser and the application platform are available online. The product will debut Tuesday at the Embedded Systems Conference in Chicago.