AT T, Intel Plan to Work Together for Video Calls

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ AT T Corp. and Intel Corp. said Monday they would work together so video calls and conferences done via personal computer become as simple as using a regular phone.

The companies, which have developed competing desktop PC video software, said they will have those products working with each other by the end of the year.

In addition, AT T said it would develop directory assistance, operator assistance, security features and other services for video calling like those that have long existed for voice.

A key goal of the two companies is to reduce the 10 to 15 minutes it can take to set up a video conference to just using a few point-and-click mouse commands on the PC.

"Currently it's very difficult and can be time consuming to make a video conferencing connection," said Bruce Ryon, analyst at Dataquest Inc. in San Jose, Calif. "For this technology to be adopted on a widespread level, they're going to have to make it as easy as a telephone call."

AT T, which runs the largest telecommunications network, is looking for video calls to increase usage and revenue of that system. Intel, the largest maker of computer chips, believes that complex uses for a computer, like video calls, will drive demand for more advanced chips.

"We are always searching for new areas in which microprocessor power can be used," said Andrew Grove, chief executive officer of Intel. "The most exciting idea of them all is to see communications encompass the world of personal computers."

Both AT T and Intel earlier this year began selling desktop data sharing and video programs.

Intel's is called ProShare and ranges from a $99 program for sharing data to a $2,500 system involving cameras, headsets and two special circuit boards for a PC. …