British Telecom buys EDOS firmEDOS
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ELECTRONIC Software distribution has been given a boost with the decision by British Telecom to take a majority shareholding in Program Express. the first UK company set up to introduce the system into retail stores.

Electronic distribution of software (EDOS) uses machines m each store which will down-load software from a central main-frame computer on to a blank tape, cartridge or disc.

Advantages of the system are that retailers will not suffer overstocking, shoplifting or selling-out problems. The EDOS machine will also keep a record of titles sold, and will invoice the store.

Program Express, which announced its system in July last year, had hoped that trial machines would be installed by the end of last year. However, the company has had difficulties in getting equipment from Inventory Transfer Systems in the US, which manufactures the machines, and as yet there are still no EDOS systems in the shops.

Under the new agreement, British Telecom —which owns the Firebird entertainment software label— will provide the financing for EDOS, while Program Express's directors. Granl Robertson. Bruce Neville and Gilmour Kennedy continue to run the company.

"We hope that EDOS will now reach some stores by the end of this year. In three to five years we plan to have penetrated all retail outlets, " said a BT spokesman.

One chain that may take advantage of EDOS are British Telecom's own shops, selling mainly telecommunications equipment but also Firebird software. Britjsh Telecom is planning to expand its network of shops in the country to around 50.

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