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Tech Talk

Compiled from staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 11, 2000

Opera releases free version of browser

OSLO, Norway -- The maker of the world's No. 3 Internet browser offered its first free Windows version last week in a bid to close the gap with Microsoft's market-leading Internet Explorer and AOL/Netscape. Opera Software's market share is microscopic, at less than 1 percent. What set privately owned Opera ( apart was that its estimated 1.5-million users were willing to pay $39 for the program, while the competing products were available for free. Opera plans to distribute millions of compact discs to be included in computer magazines, as well as offer the browser through softwaremakers and on Web sites. takes over failed Spinway

SAN FRANCISCO --, Kmart's online alter ego, took over a failed business partner that provided free Internet service to millions of computer users, preserving a vital customer link in the heart of the holiday shopping season. The move assures that about 6-million people who surf the Web through a network created by Spinway Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., will continue to have free Internet access at least through year-end. After abruptly closing its doors Dec. 1 and laying off the last of its 100 employees, Spinway appeared poised to pull the plug on its service until BlueLight stepped in last week. About 30 Spinway workers will help run the Internet service for BlueLight.

Works templates help track medical history

Free templates to keep track of personal and family medical histories (and one for pets) are available for free download for users of the Microsoft Works 2001 Suite. The templates can be found at

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Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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