Former Narad CEO Trades Ethernet-Over-Coax for Web Programming

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Remember Narad Networks, a.k.a. PhyFlex Networks?

Former Narad/PhyFlex CEO Michael Collette — two years after winding that company down and selling the company’s Ethernet-over-coax technology assets to Ciena — has resurfaced as chief executive of a Web-programming startup called FHTML.

The early-stage startup has developed FluidHTML, a markup language that lets programmers dynamically generate Flash-based rich media content. Because FluidHTML is text based, that means it can be indexed by search engines, which isn’t possible with Flash natively. (Adobe’s Flex, meanwhile, is designed to provide an open-source framework for buidling rich Flash apps.)

It’s a bit of a jump from Ethernet-over-cable networking switches to Flash, no?

Collette explained in an e-mail: “Well, if you just look at PhyFlex, then it seems kinda twisted, but if you look back across my career, then PhyFlex is much more the odd man out and FluidHtml is more a natural evolution of ‘things TV’ to ‘things OTT/InternetTV.” He noted that he was CEO of Ucentric Systems, a DVR middleware/application platform acquired by Motorola in 2005, and has worked for OpenTV and ICTV (now called ActiveVideo).

Collette says FHTML currently is in private beta and expects version 1.0 to be generally available by January 2010. The Waltham, Mass.-based company, backed by individual investors, is looking to raise an initial round of VC money in the next few months.

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