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Kiwi firm nets multimillion-dollar deal with Dell

Kiwi firm nets multimillion-dollar deal with Dell

Software developed by Palmerston North company Unlimited Realities will be bundled on tens of millions of computers sold by United States manufacturer Dell over the next three or four years.

Unlimited Realities vice-president Ben Wilde said the deal with Dell was worth millions of dollars to the company, which employs 40 staff, including 12 in Wellington. The company built the Windows 7 version of an application,

Dell Stage, that will be installed on all Dell's consumer market PCs.

It also licenses some of its touch-screen applications to Dell.

Mr Wilde said Dell owned the "look and feel" of the application and Unlimited Realities owned the "underlying technology that implements it".

Dell announced the wider availability of Dell Stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in the United States last month.

Dell said it provided computer users with faster access to their favourite content, such as photo and video files, and made it easier to share them through social networks. One feature which is popular in the US, MusicStream, lets users stream and download music from Napster.

Mr Wilde said Dell Stage was not "crapware" – a derogatory term for often-unwanted free applications bundled by manufacturers on new computers. "That was always one of the concerns going into this, but the feedback has been positive.

"If it was just a launcher, you might fall into that trap, but because it is oriented around content, people are more receptive to it."

Unlimited Realities' focus this year would be developing more touch and gesture-based applications for

Windows 7 all-in-one and tablet computers. While the iPad still dominated the tablet market, Mr Wilde said it was better for developers to make applications for companies that sold Windows systems.

A quarter of applications developed for Apple's platform never got used more than once, he said.

"You have hundreds of thousands of developers and you have a channel to market that is a crap-shoot as to whether you will make any money."


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