Definition: General Magic
(General Magic, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) A former company founded in 1990 as a spin-off of Apple. It was established to create a platform for personal communications products and services and license the technology to a wide variety of manufacturers and service providers. It ceased operations in 2002 after an unsuccessful attempt to raise capital or achieve a strategic merger or acquisition.
General Magic's products included the Magic Cap operating system and Telescript programming language. The concept was to embed intelligence into email and other applications to allow them to cooperate with one another and move messages intelligently through diverse public and private networks. One example of an application was a personal agent that could scour the Web and locate the best price for some desired item. The platform could be thought of as an early attempt at a type of Web services infrastructure, even before the Web had exploded.