July 11, 1996 1:00 PM PDT

AT&T severs PersonaLink for PDAs

Unsurprisingly, AT&T will shutter its PersonaLink Services on August 30, leaving the proprietary wireless service for handheld computers another casualty of the Internet boom.

"PersonLink never found the market we hoped for because of the growth of the Internet," AT&T spokesman Kevin Compton said.

The service, launched in September 1994, never even attracted 10,000 subscribers. The service was designed to be used by the Sony Magic Link and Motorola Envoy personal communicators. Both used the MagicCap operating system and the Telescript agent technology from General Magic.

AT&T will now offer General Magic's new PrestoMail Internet email application and PrestoLinks Web browser to PersonaLink subscribers so that they can still use their PDAs by connecting to the Internet instead. The company will also waive fees from May through August and give out vouchers for up to $150 to sign up with an Internet service provider or buy a PC email package of kind. The company is giving out the registration software to its WorldNet dial-up Net access service for free.

AT&T's move follows General Magic's repositioning last month to focus on the Internet. AT&T remains an investor in General Magic.

None of the 60 or so PersonaLink employees are being laid off, and many are being transferred to AT&T's WorldNet Internet access service, which is having trouble keeping up with consumer demand.

Related stories:
General Magic reborn on Net
General Magic moves its act to the Net
AT&T turns on WorldNet
AT&T enters Internet service provider game


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