Microsoft joins "free PC" fray in US

As so-called "free" PCs take markets around the world by storm, Microsoft in the US has launched its own version of the of the Internet access/PC bundle scheme.

Microsoft's ISP MSN (Microsoft Network), in the US, has launched a deal offering a free AMD 400MHz PC to customers who pay upfront for three years of Internet access.

The PC is not from a big-name vendor and does not come with a monitor -- customers can purchase a 15in or 17in monitor through the deal at an additional cost.

The US market has recently been flooded by a string of companies offering "free" PCs, hoping to entice new customers to their products or services.

America Online (AOL) is one, offering a $US400 rebate on a PC for people paying for a three-year subscription to CompuServe 2000 interactive service.

The market in Singapore has reportedly welcomed the first "free PC" deal in the country, which is also the first deal in Asia aside from Hong Kong.

Singapore ISP Pacific Internet has reported overwhelming demand from consumers wanting to take up its offer of a "free PC" with the purchase of Net access.

The scheme offers a free 366MHz Celeron-based PC to customers who sign up for a special 15-month unlimited Internet access plan.

The ISP also has operations in Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines, but has not yet decided whether to start similar promotions in those countries.

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