AOL, Video Ezy, IBM take on "free" PC

There's a new twist on the "free" Internet PC and it comes with videos.

AOL has partnered with Video Ezy and IBM to supply a PC, unlimited AOL membership and eight videos a week for two years.

Additionally, customers can sign up for the deal at one of Video Ezy's 140 retail outlets around the country, an AOL spokesman said.

AOL says this is the first deal of its type, and hopes it will capture more of the consumer mass market. It says 80 per cent of Australians are not online, and this concept would secure more marketshare amongst the "mum and dad users".

"AOL Australia is focused on meeting the needs of Australian families, and recent research we have conducted showed us that this is exactly what consumers have been looking for," said Carol Veriga, managing director of AOL Australia.

AOL says the Internet and video rentals are complementary, rather than mutually exclusive.

"The Internet doesn't replace other media - it enhances them," Veriga said.

The AOL EZY Home Entertainment Package is $25.99 per week or $112.62 per month for two years, or roughly $2700. The offer runs until the end of the year and the finance is provided by Equico Finance.

The PC is an IBM Aptiva 13A which comes with a 4GB drive, 40x CD-ROM, an AMD K6 2/400 processor, 56K modem and 32MB RAM. The Aptiva 13A is a special package for this deal, but an IBM PC with equivalent specs would retail for around $1400.

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Ellen Cresswell

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