Phil Goldman, one of the developers of WebTV, was found dead of unknown causes in his Silicon Valley home on the day after Christmas. He was 39.
In the mid 1990s, Goldman, along with former Apple associates Steve Perlman and Bruce Leak, developed WebTV, the first commercially viable service that allowed viewers to surf the Web and read e-mail via TV screens. The service, which never garnered more than a million or so subscribers, was purchased by Microsoft in 1997 for $425 million and is now marketed as "MSN TV."
Goldman was most recently founder of Mailblocks, a Los Altos, Calif.-based company that developed an e-mail system to control spam.
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