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AOL Sows Wildseed In Mobile Market

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As part of an initiative to expedite the use of America Online services on mobile phones, the world’s largest Internet provider announced the acquisition of Wildseed Ltd., a privately held wireless technology company based in Kirkland, Washington, for an undisclosed sum.

Wildseed Ltd., founded by Microsoft’s DirectX multimedia co-inventor G. Eric Engstrom, specializes in cell phone hipster accessories like the popular snap-on interchangeable faceplates and software for customizing phone screens. AOL intends to use Wildseed technology to design easy access portals to AOL’s music service and other applications.

The AOL wireless division, led by senior VP Craig Eisler, will consist of AOL Mobile, Wildseed, and Tegic Communications Inc., which was acquired in 1999. Wildseed’s employees and operations will be integrated into AOL’s Seattle offices, carving out a senior VP of wireless products spot for Wildseed CEO Eric Engstrom.

“Wildseed’s advanced technologies will help AOL enhance the value of its wireless properties, and speed the development and deployment of new applications and solutions that address the wants and needs of consumers and carriers,” said Eisler in a statement.

AOL, which has been suffering from a consistent loss of subscribers to its paid Internet service, has been looking for ways to branch out in order to become more competitive with other Internet companies like Google and Yahoo!. AOL sees the mobile phone market as one way of doing this.

AOL Sows Wildseed In Mobile Market
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