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Wednesday, December 1, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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America Online Acquires Software Developer Tegic

Seattle Times Business Reporter

Tegic Communications, a Seattle software developer that specializes in messaging access, has been purchased by America Online (AOL). Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Tegic will continue operations here as a separate business unit of AOL. Tegic has about 85 employees. No layoffs are planned.

Tegic's leading product, T9 Text Input, is expected to advance the "AOL Anywhere" strategy for mobile phones and other devices. It makes it possible for consumers to quickly use e-mail and instant messaging on their wireless phones, said Barry Schuler, president of AOL Interactive Services. The T9 software lets users enter words with just one key press per letter on a standard telephone keypad.

The software has been licensed to more than 20 wireless-phone manufacturers that serve more than 90 percent of the world market. At least 10 already are shipping T9-enabled phones. Tegic will continue to enhance T9, adding support for new languages and additional features, as part of the deal with Dulles, Va.-based AOL. The software is available in 14 languages.

Founded in 1995, Tegic is collaborating with AOL to create an instant-messenger application for wireless devices and is developing technologies for people with communication disabilities who may have difficulty using a keyboard.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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