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Intel ate my iCat

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Intel has shut down its iCat e-commerce solutions and service arm.

A terse message on the company's Web site simply says: "iCat, a division of Intel Online Services, has discontinued its iCat Commerce Online service for all direct customers."

That software - aimed at small to medium-sized firms keen to embrace the Web and online commerce - is still being provided through ASPs, Chipzilla's other target market.

Intel bought iCat - the business and the online catalogue and storefront software it produced - back in late 1998, part of its plan to become not just a company but an Internet company. That strategy followed former CEO Andy Grove's maxim that firms that didn't embrace the Net would soon cease to be.

Unfortunately, many of those that did have died anyway, victims of the last year's dotcom gloom. For so many companies, B2C e-commerce failed to pay its way, and Intel's iCat operation seems to have suffered accordingly.

iCat was originally mooted as a component for Pandesic the e-commerce solutions and services company Intel set up as a joint venture with SAP back in 1997. Last summer Pandesic announced its decision to close "due to slower than anticipated market acceptance of business-to-consumer e-commerce solutions". ®

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