June 30, 1999 8:10 PM PDT

Desktop.com joining Web-based applications market

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Yet another second-generation Web start-up is throwing its hat into the Web-based applications ring.

Desktop.com has been keeping a low profile since its December founding by former RocketMail, AOL, NetDynamics, and Yahoo talent. But the start-up acknowledges that its business is in the booming area of bringing traditional desktop applications to the Web, and the similarly hot personalization market.

"Imagine if jumping on the Internet from anywhere felt just as familiar as turning on your everyday PC--being greeted at login with the things you use, just the way you organized them," reads the company's Web site. "We will help you create that desktop on the Web to access everything you use online from one singular place."

Web-based applications have been surging in popularity since Hotmail and other free Web-based email sites started up about two years ago. More and more new firms promise to provide the next piece of the Web-based computing puzzle.

These applications include email, calendars, schedulers, and file storage. Providing these applications on the Web can give users access to them from any networked computer.

Desktop.com plans to offer a number of what it terms on its job openings page "non-traditional Web applications." A Desktop.com spokesperson declined to elaborate on what the company meant by "non-traditional."

Desktop.com will not be the first Web site to offer a conglomeration of Web services. Jump Networks, acquired in April by Microsoft, also offers a suite of tools. So does Visto.

Desktop.com may be designing a service that houses tools developed by independent software developers. The company is seeking a developer relations manager who will "encourage software developers to build applications for the company's service...and [who will evangelize] the company's platform to the industry and development community," according to its Web site.

Desktop.com is funded by its founders, chief executive Katie Burke and chief technology officer Larry Drebis. The duo previously worked together developing Rocketmail for Four11, which they sold to Yahoo in 1997.

Burke and Drebis, who subsequently worked for Yahoo, are examples of entrepreneurs using the experience and money earned building the first generation of Web firms to found the second generation.

Located in San Francisco, Desktop.com plans to launch this summer.

 

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