Intel Corp. has formed a partnership with top Internet software makers to create a set of Web tools for office workers to share information with colleagues, the companies said Tuesday.
The world's biggest computer chip maker said it is working with makers of commercial blogs, wikis and syndicated news feeds to create SuiteTwo, a complete package of "Web 2.0" business work group collaboration tools.
Web 2.0 is the trendy term Internet industry insiders use to describe software that makes it easier for users to publish and share information among themselves.
The Intel partnership offers small businesses and work groups inside larger companies what amounts to "Web 2.0 in a box," by remaking internal and external communication systems to encourage collaboration.
Instead of working separately and relying on e-mail to stay connected, these tools encourage groups of office workers to use the latest Web publishing tools to share what they know in both private and public conversations over the Web.
All services are integrated with a single sign-on.
Intel's partners include Six Apart, a leading maker of blog publishing software, SocialText, a provider of a form of group blogging software known as wikis, and NewsGator and SimpleFeed, providers of instantly updated news feeds. SpikeSource packages the software and provides technical support.
Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of the semiconductor maker, assembled the group. Intel's Software and Solutions Group will make SuiteTwo available to its worldwide network of personal computer makers and computer and software resellers for distribution.
Ross Mayfield, chief executive of SocialText, said such software helps businesses harness the "collective intelligence" of both their workers and their customers.
"These tools help businesses know what their employees are saying, what they are working on, what they are paying attention to, as well as what they are seeing in the external world," Mayfield told Reuters.
The announcement was made in San Francisco at the opening day of the Web 2.0 Conference, an annual event that attracts the Internet industry's biggest movers and shakers to debate the future of Web trends.
The SuiteTwo package will cost a business $175 to $200 a year per user, or about $15-$17 per month, Mayfield said.
SuiteTwo is designed to allow office workers to search for any information contributed by colleagues using any of the separate software programs. The software is designed to run on Intel-based PCs.
SpikeSource is offering versions that run on the three main business software systems -- Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and the increasingly popular alternatives, Red Hat Inc. Linux and Novell Inc. SuSE Linux.
Initially, the software suite will be offered in English and Japanese languages. Future releases will include tools for podcasting, business networking, staying connected wirelessly and other features, the companies said.