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Intel moves into e-commerce software

Purchase of iCat gives company Web storefront operation plus software suite

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Intel is to buy privately-held e-commerce specialist iCat Corporation for an undisclosed sum - and, for that matter, for undisclosed purposes. The Seattle-based company has been in operation for five years, and produces secure e-commerce software and services, working for a number of large companies, but also offering 'do-it-yourself' online storefront systems for smaller businesses from its Web site. Intel's buying the company can probably be seen as boosting the company's portfolio of small business Web and networking offerings, but it clearly also takes Intel rather spectacularly into the heavy-duty software business. iCat's Electronic Commerce Suite will run on Windows 95 and NT, but it also supports Sun Solaris, SGI IRIX and HP-UX. So Intel Unix implementations can no doubt be expected PDQ, and here we have Intel getting into the kinds of areas its old buddies at Microsoft don't want it in again. ®

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