December 4, 1996 1:45 PM ET

General Magic hopes future is 'Rosy'
By Margaret Kane

  General Magic Inc. made a slew of announcements today at its developer's meeting, hoping to revitalize the company by releasing a new version of its Magic Cap operating system, a set of developer tools, and a new version of its E-mail and browser software.

The new OS, code-named Rosemary and designed for a 32-bit MIPS Technologies Inc. R3000 RISC chip, is aimed at personal Internet communicators, smart phones and PCs. Rosemary has a built-in browser, universal mail architecture and a software modem. It supports POP3, TCP/IP, SMTP, PPP and MIME protocols.

Rosemary also includes General Magic's Hot Text technology, which recognizes E-mail addresses, URLs and personal contact information within documents.

Rosemary is expected to be released to developers in January. A developer's tool kit, also announced today, is available now. The tool kit includes World Wide Web access APIs and the Magic Internet Kit, which allows developers to use icons instead of writing code to specific hardware ports or communications protocols. The developer's package also includes tools for writing applications for Magic Cap for Windows 95, a PC version of the company's product announced in October.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company has struggled to find a successful market for its personal communications technologies. Telescript, a network-based intelligent agent technology that supported its Magic Cap interface, suffered when Sony Corp. discontinued its Magic Link Personal Link communication network. General Magic was able to reinvent Telescript as a part of Tabriz Agent Tools, a suite of Internet/Web server software.

Sony is still manufacturing its Magic Link communicator, and General Magic today announced new versions of its PrestoMail and PrestoLinks E-mail and Web browser software for the Sony device and for Motorola Inc.'s Envoy communicator. However, according to sources close to Motorola, Envoy will be discontinued later this month.

The PC version of Magic Cap has drawn a lot of attention, but the company has continues to suffer financially, reporting in October a net loss of $12.4 million for its third fiscal quarter and laying off almost a third of its work force.

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