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Lucent signs content deal for embedded appliances

InfoSpace alliance adds content to turnkey solutions system

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Lucent's real-time operating system venture, Inferno, has signed a strategic marketing agreement with Internet content service provider InfoSpace.com. The double act is one of the first signs that information appliances are starting to shake down as a combination of device itself and content and services, rather than as simple pieces of hardware. Lucent's Inferno operating system is intended to be the core of Inferno-embedded appliances for sale to businesses and consumers, and is being marketed to OEMs as part of an Inferno turnkey Information Appliance Suite, which will now include InfoSpace services. InfoSpace includes yellow pages, white pages, maps, stock quotes, city guides and classified advertising, and allow content services to be customised for vertical markets. Typically Lucent expects Inferno devices to include screen phones, wireless handsets and set-top boxes. More ominously one of the first Inferno-embedded information appliances is the Philips IS2630 screen phone, which includes an Inferno-enabled browser. Philips has a knack of not being terribly successful with pioneering paradigms of this ilk, and of course just a couple of weeks ago was involved in the termination of its disastrous mobile phone joint venture with Lucent, Philips Consumer Communications. But Lucent is no doubt hopeful that Inferno will have proper customers too. ®

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