General Instrument, Spyglass Plan $20 Million Joint Venture

Internet software company Spyglass and cable hardware maker General Instrument Corp. are partnering in a
three-year, $20 million joint venture to develop new Internet-based cable
services and technologies.


As part of the deal announced Wednesday, General Instrument will also take a 5
percent stake in Spyglass with an option to acquire an additional 5 percent.


The pair plan to create a Digital Software Integration Center which will
develop new cable services and applications. The center will also oversee
efforts by partners building services and applications for GI’s digital
cable platform.


The news comes less than a year after Spyglass started a cable and
satellite television consulting practice. The focus of that unit has been
to adapt and refine technologies for television.


David Robertson, senior vice president and general manager of GI’s Digital
Network Systems unit, said the partnership will provide broadband customers
with a much wider range of revenue-generating services and applications.


“Advanced software is central to the success of the platform and Spyglass
has the right mix of Internet expertise, software and services to assist us
with the development of the next generation of digital services,” he said.


Last month, Spyglass announced it was developing software for Motorola’s
forthcoming interactive set-top box, dubbed “Blackbird” which will offer
Internet browsing, DVD movies and gaming.


Spyglass gained prominence with its Mosaic Web browser. Its source code was
licensed to Microsoft Corp. which included it in its Internet Explorer
browser. Another significant business for Spyglass is user-interface design.


Separately, Spyglass on Tuesday announced an 84 percent increase in fiscal
fourth-quarter revenues which led to a much lower loss in the period.
Spyglass lost $589,000, or 4 cents a share compared to a loss of $4.7
million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago.


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