Contact:
(For Versit)                          (For IMC)
Suzanne Moran                         Paul Hoffman
Lois Paul & Partners                  Internet Mail Consortium
(617) 238-5700                        (404) 426-9827
suzanne_moran@lpp.com                 phoffman@imc.org

Versit Assigns Ownership of vCard and vCalendar Technology to the Internet Mail Consortium (IMC):
PDI Technology will continue to be distributed and promoted by IMC

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., December 16, 1996: The Versit consortium today announced that it has transferred the rights to its Personal Data Interchange (PDI) technology, which includes the specifications and reference software for both vCard's and vCalendar's, to the Internet Mail Consortium (IMC). Both vCard and vCalendar define formats for exchanging personal data, such as that typically found on business cards and calendaring/scheduling information. Under the agreement, IMC will become the steward for the PDI technology and continue to insure its availability and distribution, in addition to promoting its adoption within the industry and within other industry groups.

"Versit's original charter for the PDI technology was to create open specifications for exchanging personal data over a variety of transports, including the Internet," said Al Rosen, a managing director of Versit. "With the completion of the vCard Version 2.1 and vCalendar Version 1.0 specifications, the next logical step was transferring the PDI technology to an organization such as IMC who will help increase its adoption, use and visibility. IMC, which is focused on Internet Mail, the transport most widely used for vCard and vCalendar, will enable the specifications to further achieve widespread acceptance as industry standards. All of the Versit companies (Apple Computer, IBM Corporation, Lucent Technologies, and Siemens) will be joining IMC and working with them to promote the vCard and vCalendar technologies.

The Internet Mail Consortium is an international organization of vendors focused on expanding the role of mail on the Internet into areas such as commerce and entertainment, advancing new Internet mail technologies, and making it easier for Internet users to get the most out of this growing communications medium. IMC works closely with standard organizations such as the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). Among IMC's members are America Online, Lotus Development Corporation, and Sun Microsystems.

Under the agreement, IMC will maintain the vCard and vCalendar specifications, and distribute them, as well as their accompanying reference software. In addition, IMC will continue to host the information previously contained within Versit's PDI home page and support the vCard and vCalendar mailing lists. Both the vCard and vCalendar specifications, as well as the reference software, will continue to be freely available. In the near future, they will be accessible through IMC's home page.

The vCard specification, which defines a common electronic business card format, was published in April and updated to Version 2.1 in September and now has support from over 50 vendors, including Apple Computer, Claris, Four11, IBM Corporation, Lotus Development Corporation, Lucent Technologies, NetManage, Netscape Communications, Now Software, France Telecom, Siemens, and Symantec.

vCalendar, which enables interoperability among calendaring and scheduling applications, was published as Version 1.0 in September. vCalendar has likewise received support from more than 50 vendors, including Netscape Communications, Lotus Development Corporation, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, Oracle, IBM Corporations, and Siemens. Both vCard and vCalendar have been submitted to various industry groups and standard organizations. These include IrDA (Infrared Data Association), the Salutation Consortium, and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in support of IETF's efforts to define standards for Internet calendaring and scheduling.

"vCard and vCalendar represent innovative, mature, and widely appealing functions," said Dave Crocker, co-director, IMC. "The Internet Mail Consortium was formed to improve the functionality of the Internet and its choice of products. We look forward to continuing the momentum of the PDI services through standardization and further incorporation into Internet products."

Versit is a global initiative which was founded by Apple Computer, AT&T, IBM, and Siemens and currently includes IBM, Lucent Technologies, and Siemens. It was established to help eliminate barriers to communication and collaboration by developing and promoting open, cross-platform specifications for a wide range of computer and telephony applications. Versit's PDI technology addresses the needs of collecting and communicating PDI information across many transports and environments.



For more information on vCard and vCalendar, please contact
the Internet Mail Consortium at pdi-info@imc.org.
Information about the Internet Mail Consortium
is available from the IMC Web site.

vCard and vCalendar are registered trademarks of the Internet Mail Consortium.