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ThinkFree Unveils Partner Program, Announces 30 Partners

ThinkFree.com yesterday debuted its Partner Program and announced its first 30 partner companies.

ThinkFree.com is a Web-based office productivity solutions provider, with full Microsoft Office compatibility and cross-platform support.

According to the company, the new partners cover a wide-range of markets and technologies including the Linux/UNIX marketplaces as well as the Web-based software, hardware and services arrangement. The partners include AOL Latin America, Apunta, Damango, EdgeMail Technologies, gettuit.com, Indexcol.com, netdrive.com, Red Hat, SchoolNet, SGI, Stormix Technologies, TUCOWS.com, visitalk.com and Wired College Network.

"ThinkFree Office suite has opened up a market previously held by the stand-alone PC environment," Michael Galloway, chief executive officer, EdgeMail Technologies, said. "We feel software like ThinkFree is the future of the Internet."

The terms of the agreement revolve around a reciprocal marketing arrangement. ThinkFree.com's services will be marketed to customers of the partner companies. In turn, ThinkFree.com will promote services and products provided by these partners to ThinkFree.com users. Each of the partner companies will also market to their customers ThinkFree.com's first service, ThinkFree Office.

ThinkFree.com is still in pre-release mode with the ThinkFree Office technology. According to the company, there are approximately 50 partners, although only 30 names have been released.

"There is a tremendous demand in the ASP community for a technology such as ThinkFree Office," Ken Rhie, president, said. "ASPs want to augment their basic services with some kind of office productivity service."

ThinkFree Office is a full suite of Microsoft Office-compatible solutions, including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation graphics applications, and online file storage. It can currently be downloaded for free.

"We plan to build an advertising model into the free tier so we can recover our costs," Steve Zurcher, senior director of partnerships said.

Zurcher, told ASP-News that a second tier product will be released this summer. "It will be priced directly towards the ASP Market and include no advertising," he said. "The ASPs aren't interested in free, but a more robust feature rich application that has Internet service aligned with it."

ThinkFree.com anticipates a monthly per user charge of $2.00 to $3.00 a month for service. "That is 10 to 15 percent less than Microsoft Office Online," Zurcher said.