Issue: Are Web Tops, Metabrowsers and
Rocket Boards the Answer?
News: On May Day, U S WEST Dex "relaunched"
its Internet Yellow Pages Web site (www.uswestdex.com) with features and
a layout designed to expedite the process of buyers finding sellers. Last
week, it licensed technology from a Seattle-based start-up called xSides,
which will place Dex-based shopping tools right on a user's PC desktop.
Something like "picture
in picture" on a big screen TV, xSides' "Web top" technology resides as
a toolbar on a PC screen outside the traditional Web browser. It lets
shoppers initiate quick Web site launches, customize desktop portals and
create a launch pad for devices like calculators and CD players. While
xSides applications currently take up horizontal real estate along the
bottom of the computer screen, the company's master plan is to replace
the Windows desktop with an xSides "Web top."
Dex has arranged for
its IYP to be packaged in an xSides toolbar. Users can download the toolbar
from Dex's IYP site. Using the xSides tool, users input Yellow Pages searches
that launch directly into the IYP search results page. Dex executives
believe the xSides toolbar will improve the user experience and bring
more traffic to its Web site, although the new tool's take rate is uncertain.
a convenience we believe consumers will appreciate and use often, which
in turn will benefit our Internet Yellow Pages advertisers," says Margaret
McGuckin, vice president and general manager of U S WEST Dex Internet
and New Ventures groups.