Earthlink Tuesday revealed plans to launch an appliance service powered
by Netpliance. It is the company’s second major partnership to be announced in as many days.
The Earthlink i-Opener, an Internet and email solution, is expected to
launch during the first quarter of 2001. The product will allow users to
access weather, news and email services without being connected to the Web.
The service will be delivered by Netpliance’s end-to-end infrastructure and
service management platform.
The alliance with Earthlink is part of a
restructuring plan recently announced by Netpliance in which the company
shifted its focus from devices to providing infrastructure and managed
Netpliance.net, a new business unit designed to accelerate the deployment
of consumer applications, will manage the Earthlink i-opener consumer
appliance and service.
“The combination of Earthlink’s market presence and our end-to-end
service delivery platform makes for a powerful, one-two punch,” said Kent
Savage, co-founder and vice president of sales and marketing for Netpliance.
The paired companies additionally plan to pursue a next-generation
initiative to deliver multimedia consumer services across multiple
platforms, including PC and non-PC devices.
The union allows Earthlink customers to gain Internet access without the
complexities of a PC, noted Lance Weatherby, executive vice president for
all non-PC initiatives of Earthlink. “This partnership is about extending
the Earthlink experience beyond the computer and making the Internet an even
more practical and relevant part of our subscribers’ everyday lives.”