CNET tech sites: Price Comparisons | Product Reviews | Tech News | Downloads | Site map
Front PageEnterpriseE-BusinessCommunicationsMediaPersonal TechnologyInvestor
Ride for FreeLoader is over

By Tim Clark
Staff Writer, CNET
May 28, 1997, 2:05 PM PT

update Citing a "market chill," Individual (INDV), said today it has discontinued the operations of its FreeLoader service and laid off about 28 employees in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

"The market was chilled ice-cold by the announcement of both Netscape and Microsoft to include Webcasting technology [in their next Web browsers]," said Jan Bruce, a senior vice president at Individual.

Individual, which acquired FreeLoader a year ago under former CEO Yosi Amram for $2 million and $36 million in stock, will drop FreeLoader's offline browser approach in favor of using multiple Webcasting channels to distribute news to subscribers of its NewsPage and First Alert services. Those services distribute relevant, filtered news to a variety of industries.

Click Here!

FreeLoader has been up for sale since Individual announced in February that it was no longer a core operation, but Bruce declined to comment on reports that an unidentified buyer recently pulled out of a deal. She said talks are continuing on selling some of FreeLoader's assets.

"We think Webcasting is a much bigger opportunity than having to build and maintain our own channel ourselves," Bruce added.

Offline browsers, like ad-supported FreeLoader, automatically retrieve information from the Internet and store it on a user's hard drive for later use.

Last week, Individual announced it will provide a channel on Microsoft's Active Desktop; yesterday it announced an alliance with Lanacom's Headliner service.

The company said terminating FreeLoader will reduce Individual's expenses by about $1 million a quarter and will not adversely affect the company's financial performance because FreeLoader's assets had previously been written off.

Individual also stated it has formed an advanced technology unit, with some former FreeLoader employees plus staff and technology from Individual, to support Webcasting applications. Mark Langley, who worked on push and personalization technologies at Microsoft's MSNBC service, was hired for a key role in that unit.

FreeLoader employees who are being laid off will get severance packages, and Individual will advise FreeLoader customers on their options in the next several weeks.

E-mail story Print story Send us news tips


    Latest Headlines
    display on desktop
    Wireless Web activates in small towns
    MIT student hacks into Xbox
    HP preps for its coming-out speech
    Study: Design lacking in e-tail sites
    EA: Italy to beat Brazil, win World Cup
    AMD demo suggests Hammer is in swing
    Sonicblue cues up new ReplayTV device
    Mistrust of corporate honesty hits stocks
    Commentary: Dealing with KPNQwest
    USA Interactive makes e-commerce bid
    Napster: Gimme shelter in Chapter 11
    Sony wants to make flash format stick
    Pop-under ads may hit publisher wallets
    Japan fans wrestle Web for Cup tickets
    Seagate drive targets game consoles
    Linux contract treads on Microsoft turf
    Legend jumping into cell phones
    Hynix creditors take control of chipmaker
    Software maker Peregrine shuffles execs
    Intel sees year-end bump in demand
    This week's headlines

    News Tools
    Get news by PDA
    Get news by mobile
    Listen live to CNET Radio

    CNET newsletters Daily Dispatch


    Investor Daily Dispatch

    All newsletters | FAQ
    Manage my newsletters

    Send us news tips | Contact Us | Corrections | Privacy Policy

       Featured services: Compare budget PDAs | Gifts for Grads | Find tech jobs | Bandwidth Meter | Get local wireless   
      CNET Networks:CNET | GameSpot | mySimon | TechRepublic | ZDNet About CNET  

    Copyright 1995-2002 CNET Networks, Inc.All rights reserved. CNET Jobs