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Into Networks, Enron and EBWorld.com Partner

Into Networks, Enron Broadband Services Content Systems (an affiliate of Enron Broadband Services) and retail site EBWorld.com, announced a long-term agreement to deliver games on-demand.

Using Into Networks' technology, EBWorld will offer users digital rentals of PC games. The service works by sending compressed packets of CD-ROM software over the Internet, which allows the program to run without being installed on the user's computer.

This marks the first agreement between Into Networks and a retail site. Previously, Into Networks developed its own relationships with software distributors in order to make partnerships with broadband providers and demonstrate the capabilities of its technology, said Bill Holding, vice president of marketing at Into Networks. Holding believes that the agreement with a major retailer such as EBWorld indicates an acceptance of this technology. The company is looking to make deals with more retail sites in the future.

PC games will be available for short-term digital rentals on EBWorld.com beginning in June 2001. EBWorld is currently evaluating several pricing models. But according to Nathan Solomon, director of business development at EBWorld, the site is leaning strongly towards a three-day rental at $4.99. The company is hoping to use the rentals to boost sales of boxed products, says Solomon, but he also indicated that the site was interested in exploring all forms of distribution, including digital, for the future.

Only subscribers to Into Network's broadband partner providers will be able to access the streaming software. The company is working on making the service available to all broadband users, but Holding says it is unclear whether that will be possible for the June launch.

Enron will be providing financial and operational services for Into Networks to offer broadband customers secure access to rental basis software. According to spokesperson Michael Harris with Enron Broadband Services, this deal hopefully marks the first in a long line of agreements to come out of Enron's long-term strategic relationship with Into Networks.

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