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December 8, 1997

For more information:  Ken Spreitzer
                                 Maximized Software
                                 (415) 383-1389

Vanity browser uses Microsoft Agent technology to embellish holiday interface

Costa Mesa, CA - Maximized Software, Inc., today released Christmas Browser (TM) 97, a fully customized web browser that provides a festive holiday user interface for surfing the World Wide Web.

Christmas Browser 97 builds a custom user interface on top of the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and offers numerous enhancements over a traditional browser. For example, the user desktop shows a holiday scene, while snow gently falls. Browsing session history is represented by a string of bulbs around the embedded browser window, allowing the user to quickly see a history of their session and to jump to any other page. The program also comes with a range of seasonal songs, in the popular MIDI format. Users can easily add new songs to Christmas Browser by dragging and dropping a MIDI file directly from a web page.

In addition, Christmas Browser 97 is one of the first major applications to license Agent technology from Microsoft. "We wanted to use Agent in Christmas Browser 97 because we felt that it would add to the user experience," said Ken Spreitzer, President of Maximized Software. Christmas Browser makes use of Agent technology to provide audible feedback when web pages are fully loaded, as well as other useful hints. Spreitzer observed, "Users love it!"

Users have traditionally had to choose between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer when deciding which web browser to use for surfing the Web. The emergence of a new class of customized "vanity" or "theme" browsers represents new choices for users.

"The shift to customized browsers represents a potentially large market opportunity," according to Spreitzer. "Users can choose an interface which emphasizes functionality applicable to their market, or an interface which simply holds greater appeal. In either case, the user has greater freedom of choice and greater enjoyment of the browsing experience."

Maximized Software is a pioneer in the field of customized browsers. "We were the first company to release a fully customized browser when we released Christmas Browser 1.0 in 1996," claimed Spreitzer "It was an experiment to see what we could do with the user interface. We wanted to make it as different from the traditional browser interface as possible, while remaining easy to use and enjoyable during the holidays. Christmas Browser 97 builds upon everything that we learned with the original version."

Christmas Browser 97 is available for immediate download from the Maximized Software web site. Shareware registration is $20. Registered users obtain additional Agent characters, music files, and other program options.

Customized versions of Christmas Browser 97 are available on an OEM basis. Interested parties should contact Maximized Software for further details.

Christmas Browser 97 requires a PC running Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 or later. An installed copy of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01 or later is also required.

Maximized Software, headquartered in Oakland, California, was founded in 1992 by Ken Spreitzer. Prior to establishing Maximized Software, Spreitzer achieved industry fame as the creator of Uninstaller for Windows -- a best-selling utility program. Maximized Software also produces several web server and client utilities.

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Christmas Browser is a trademark of Maximized Software, Inc.

Available Graphics
  1. Christmas Browser screen shot (800 x 573 pixels, 87KB, 256 colors) - This is a screen shot of a beta version of the product; the artwork is likely to change before release.

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