NEOPLANET, LYCOS "INTERNET DESKTOP" TO
BECOME PART OF PBNEC'S UROCKET CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Top consumer PC maker adds NeoPlanet/Lycos browser for ease-of-use and enhanced branding
SACRAMENTO, Calif., WALTHAM, Mass., PHOENIX, Ariz., August 23, 1999 - Packard Bell NEC (PBNEC), a leading producer and marketer of desktop and mobile computers and servers, Lycos, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCOS), the fastest growing Internet portal and the world's largest online community, and NeoPlanet, Inc. the pioneer in customized "Internet Desktops" today jointly announced Packard Bell NEC plans to ship custom versions of the NeoPlanet Internet Desktop (http://www.neoplanet.com) bundled on Packard Bell consumer PCs. The new Internet Desktop will be co-branded and tightly integrated with Urocket, the Internet customer experience initiative developed jointly by PBNEC, Lycos and UUNET, an MCI WorldCom company (http://www.Urocket.net).
The Urocket service will offer a user-friendly, feature-rich and highly personalized alternative to many other online services for PBNEC customers. Creating a Urocket branded version of NeoPlanet's user-friendly software "platform" (also available free for downloading at http://www.neoplanet.com) and linking it tightly to the Urocket/Lycos Web portal helps enable PBNEC to establish a stronger, more valuable relationship with its PC customers who use the Internet.
"One of the biggest obstacles for online access is that many Internet service offerings are difficult for the average consumer to use," said Bob Elkins, director, Internet Business Unit, PBNEC. "NeoPlanet's next-generation Internet Desktop integrated with the Urocket customer experience offers an easy and highly personalized way for consumers to get on the Internet."
Urocket, to be distributed on PBNEC PCs ranging in price from $499 (after a $75 Packard Bell mail-in rebate) up to $999, bundles all of the most popular Lycos Internet portal features into a unique, user-friendly environment on the desktop.
The features include: · An intuitively designed customizable interface featuring direct "channel" links to many of the top Urocket content categories and hundreds of leading Web sites · A user-friendly integrated dialer, integrated search and email · Support for multiple users of the same PC
"NeoPlanet is about making the Internet personalized, easy and fun - from the Desktop to the Internet," says Drew Cohen, CEO of NeoPlanet. "The integration of the NeoPlanet's Internet Desktop with the Urocket Internet service offered on PBNEC PCs signals another stage of the consumer online experience. This alliance can be an important step toward giving consumers easy access to the Net, popular content from the Web, and vast control of their overall Internet experience."
NeoPlanet and the Urocket Desktop operate on the core Microsoftâ Internet Explorer "browser engine" shipped with Microsoft's Windowsâ 98.
"PBNEC strives to be a leader in user experience and customer focus and we are thrilled to team with them to ship an integrated desktop experience, " said Jeff Crown, vice president of business development, Lycos, Inc. "This integrated offering can allow both new and experienced users to harness the power of the Web at their own pace. By linking NeoPlanet software tightly to the Urocket portal developed by Lycos, we have set an important course toward bringing together software, Internet services and content."
The Urocket Internet Desktop is expected to ship on PBNEC PCs in early September.
About Packard Bell NEC, Inc. Packard Bell NEC, Inc., (PBNEC) is a leading producer and marketer of a broad range of desktop and mobile computers and network servers in the Americas. The company's consumer division serves the retail market through the Packard Bell and NEC brands, and claims one of the highest installed bases of home computers of any producer in the industry.
Its commercial division, NEC Computer Systems Division (NEC CSD), serves the commercial, government and education markets with highly rated NEC-branded Versa® notebook computers, PowerMate® desktop computers, Express5800™ servers and MobilePro™ handheld personal computers.
With headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., the company is privately held by NEC Corporation and Groupe Bull. Through these shareholders and its alliance with affiliates Packard Bell NEC Europe and NEC PC in Japan, the company offers global reach and capabilities as well as leading-edge technology. Packard Bell NEC, Inc. and its affiliates comprise the fifth largest PC vendor in the world (IDC, Worldwide Tracker, July 1999).
For more information on Packard Bell products visit www.packardbell.com. For more information on NEC products visit www.nec-computers.com.
About Lycos Founded in 1995, Lycos, Inc. is a leading Web media company and owner of the Lycos Network, one of the most visited hubs on the Internet reaching one out of every two Web users. The Lycos Network is a unified set of Web sites that attracts a diverse audience by offering a variety of services, including leading Web navigation resources, homepage building and other Web community services and a comprehensive shopping center. The Lycos Network is composed of premium sites: Lycos.com, Tripod, WhoWhere, Angelfire, MailCity, HotBot, HotWired, Wired News, Webmonkey, Suck.com and MyTime.com. Lycos.com (http://www.lycos.com), "Your Personal Internet Guide," is dedicated to helping each individual user locate, retrieve and manage information tailored to his or her personal interests. Headquartered near Boston in Waltham, Mass., Lycos, Inc. is a global Internet leader with a major presence throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information on Lycos, visit www.lycos.com.
About NeoPlanet NeoPlanet combines content, communications, and features, bringing the best of the Internet to the consumer's desktop. The company allows users to reflect their own "Internet Fashion" by customizing NeoPlanet's Internet Desktop through personalized "skins." NeoPlanet features a built in directory of user customizable Content Channels featuring Lycos' leading Internet content allowing users to personalize their surfing experience. Distribution channels include ISPs, OEMs, Web sites and direct marketers. NeoPlanet is free and easy to download at www.neoplanet.com. NeoPlanet, Inc. NeoPlanet, Inc. Patent pending.
1999 Lycos, Inc. - Lycos is a registered trademark of Carnegie Mellon University. Versa, PowerMate, Express 5800 and MobilePro are trademarks or registered trademarks of Packard Bell NEC, Inc. All other product or service marks mentioned herein are those of Lycos or their respective owners. All rights reserved.