WebTV Cofounder Goldman Dead at 39

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WebTV Networks cofounder Phillip Goldman died Dec. 26 at his Los Altos Hills, Calif., home at the age of 39. Cause of death has not been determined.

Goldman's most recent endeavor was Mailblocks Inc., a company designed to help customers block out unsolicited e-mail, but it was his work at WebTV that made him a force in the broadcasting industry.

He co-founded the company with Steve Pearlman and Bruce Leak in 1995 and sold it to Microsoft in 1997 for $503 million. Its goal was to sell consumers a keyboard that would be connected to a TV set and allow for Web surfing and e-mailing on the TV screen, but the technology never caught on with consumers.

Goldman is survived by his wife and two daughters and his parents.