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FIRM WILL LAUNCH TV WEB BROWSER.

Byline: Evan Ramstad Associated Press

After months of promises by big-name computer firms for a lower-cost device to access the Internet, an unknown has jumped ahead with a computer for browsing the World Wide Web from a TV.

WebTV Networks Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up firm that has stayed quiet amid the Internet hoopla, is emerging with two powerful partners.

Sony Electronics Inc. and Philips Consumer Electronics Co. today will announce plans to produce and sell machines based on WebTV's technology in September.

``We're very itchy to get this device on the market,'' said Jim Bonan, vice president of new business development at Sony's consumer products group. ``I believe it will be the most exciting thing in the consumer electronics market this fall.''

Price will be a few hundred dollars, well below the $500 price tag tossed about by some computer industry executives as a low-cost target.

A key reason it costs so much less is the machine is designed only to browse the Web and share electronic mail instead of all the other things that a personal computer does. Its operating and browsing program is small and efficient and can be updated by the company when a user is on line.

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Photo

Photo: (Color) From left to right, Steve Perlman, Phil Gold man and Bruce Leak are the driving forces behind WebTV.

Associated Press
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 10, 1996
Words:227
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