San Mateo County Times

Web address technology finds patron Microsoft to offer Centraal service
Monday, June 28, 1999

By Liz Garone

SAN CARLOS -- Navigating the Web is about to get a little easier -- at least for fans of Microsoft.

Today, San Carlos-based Centraal Corp. and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. are expected to announce a two-year agreement incorporating Centraal's RealName Web addressing and navigating service into Microsoft's latest version of its Internet Explorer browser.

Users of Internet Explorer 5 will no longer need to remember long, often cryptic Web addresses for favorite sites. Instead, they can simply type in a RealName to go there. A RealName is the word -- or phrase -- a company or person purchases from Centraal to market and brand their site. For example, Sony owns the RealName "Sony." Anyone trying to find Sony's site could simply type "Sony" into the address bar and bring up the desired site on a RealNames-enabled browser.

RealNames will also now work using, Microsoft's search page. They are already incorporated into searches on AltaVista and LookSmart.

Netscape users must still download RealName software from Centraal's Web site in order to use the service. Earlier this year, Netscape announced its own similar service for stock quotes. Users of Netscape, versions 4.06 and higher, can type in the word quote and a particular stock ticker to find stock quotes.

The agreement with Microsoft is not exclusive, according to Keith Teare, Centraal's president and CEO. Teare said that his company has been in discussions with Netscape for quite some time -- but no agreement has been reached.

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