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PictureTel and Connectix Forge OEM Alliance for POTS Videoconferencing


PictureTel Corporation and Connectix Corporation announced a strategic partnership to integrate PictureTel's LivePhone technology the next version of Connectix VideoPhone software. This partnership enables H.324 standards-based videoconferencing over analog -- or POTS -- telephone lines using Connectix VideoPhone and QuickCam products for PCs running Windows 95(R) and also for Macintosh computers running the MacOS.

"PictureTel is committed to bringing the advantages of our full line of desktop videoconferencing solutions to new customers," said David Andonian, Vice President of PictureTel's Personal Systems Division. "This alliance with Connectix enables us to introduce new customers to PictureTel's industry- leading technology. The combination of Connectix' low-cost retail sales strategy with PictureTel's high-quality POTS product is unmatched anywhere in the industry."

This agreement also marks the first time a PictureTel desktop videoconferencing solution will operate on the Macintosh platform. Connectix VideoPhone uses Apple's QuickTime Conferencing on the Macintosh, and Connectix is integrating PictureTel's LivePhone technology to work with Apple's videoconferencing technology.

"We are pleased that PictureTel and Connectix are making this commitment to MacOS and QuickTime Conferencing," said Carlos Montalvo, Apple Vice President Interactive Media Group. "Apple will work closely with these market leaders in their support of the Macintosh platforms, to the benefit of our mutual customers."

PictureTel LivePhone is a software-only product that operates over the traditional, analog telephone lines that are in every business and home. LivePhone is based on the International Telecommunications Unions H.324 standard for videoconferencing over analog telephone lines. It is targeted to the consumer and small business markets, where videoconferencing systems that operate over digital telephone lines are not widely used.

Connectix VideoPhone is the leading desktop videoconferencing product sold through retail channels (source: TeleSpan), and one of only a handful of products that work on both PCs and Macintosh computers over telephone lines. Integrating PictureTel's LivePhone technology brings two market leaders together to create a product that will have precedent-setting performance, compatibility and ease of use.

"Connectix seeks to create products with leading-edge technology that provide tangible, unique benefits to users," said Roy McDonald, Connectix President and CEO. "Our strategic partnership brings together PictureTel's industry-leading standards-based technology with our award-winning consumer products. Connectix has delivered over a half million QuickCams, now we can link them to business users worldwide."


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