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A Better Browser for PDAs?

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, July 17, 2001

The search for a better browser for your PDA. Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. Having a handheld computer that's connected wirelessly to the Internet can be a useful tool... .but until now at least... .one of the frustrations has been trying to browse the Web. The screens are simply too small. Startup Zframe Inc. has begun testing a new solution. CEO John Robotham... .says instead of plain text based browsing or Web clipping...

"What they'll see on us is... you'll see an actual representation of the Web page. So instead of destroying the Web page and destroying its format, we use the actual layout of the desktop Web page as an active navigational map over the contents. So wherever you put your pen, the contents pop up and you can zoom in anywhere."

So you can read the content easily on that small screen. The magic is done through ZFrame software running on a Windows NT or 2000 server. It sounds great... .but when you zoom in on the pricing... .

"If you are going in as an individual user, it's going to cost you approximately fifteen dollars a month. If, instead, you want to license the server for your own use internally inside of your intranet, you can license the server and the cost there starts at around 25 thousand dollars."

It sounds pretty high, but the CEO believes the market can support that kind of price. A better bet could be the company's efforts to license the technology directly to Internet service providers for handheld devices. Bloomberg Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin.