WebTV Co-founder Phil Goldman Dies

Goldman died at home in Los Altos Hills on Friday. The cause of his death may take several weeks to determine, according to a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County coroner’s office.

Over the course of his career, Goldman worked on the cusp of technology and consumer electronics at firms such as Apple Computer, General Magic and Microsoft.

In 1995, along with former Apple colleagues Steve Perlman and Bruce Leak, Goldman co-founded WebTV Networks, which allowed users to surf the Internet from their televisions.

“Phil was one of the brightest stars to ever shine over Silicon Valley,” said Perlman. “A world-class technologist and entrepreneur, he was respected not only for his brilliance and creativity, but for his character, integrity and untiring spirit.”

WebTV was sold to Microsoft in 1997 for $425 million and today is called MSN TV.

In 2002, Goldman founded Mailblocks, a Los Altos company that sells a Web-based e-mail system that promises to eliminate unwanted e-mail, or spam. Earlier this year, it sued competing companies using similar technology to eliminate spam, claiming patent infringement.

Susan Bratton, vice president of sales and marketing for Mailblocks, said the private company will go forward despite Goldman’s death. It plans to introduce a 2.0 version of its e-mail service at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

Raised in Hillsborough, Calif. Goldman attended San Mateo High School and graduated from Princeton University in 1986 at the top of his class in the School of Engineering. He remained an active alumnus and endowed an engineering professorship at Princeton.

Goldman held 19 U.S. patents for inventions, and he also served on the board of directors of BraveKids, a charity that helps families with severely ill children remain connected through the Internet.

Goldman is survived by his wife, Susan, and two young children.

Funeral services were held Sunday at Peninsula Temple Shalom in Burlingame.

Source: Associate Press