RealTime IT News

AOL, Kinko's Unite

America Online Inc. and Kinko's Wednesday teamed up to take on the small office, home office market.

Under the multi-million dollar, five-year agreement, American Online (AOL) and Kinko's plan to develop in-store "Internet Solutions Centers." AOL products and services will be featured in Kinko's stores nationwide. The centers are designed to provide computers with AOL interactive services and standard narrowband Internet access.

Joe Hardin, Jr., Kinko's chief executive officer, said the alliance is a natural fit for the printing firm that will enable it to eventually offer a full range of Internet solutions.

"Now all of our customers will have convenient and easy access to our critical services both online and offline," Hardin said.

Bob Pittman, AOL president and chief operating officer, said the deal thrusts AOL's services into the small businesses market.

"Together, we can offer an unmatched range of products and services with our hallmark online ease-of-use and convenience," Pittman said.

Kinko's and America Online plan to create a co-branded online destination for AOL members, and its 100 million SOHO consumers who frequent Kinko's stores nationwide.

As a part of the deal, AOL will make Kinko's print driver available on its star-up disks, which will be distributed in Kinko's stores. The print driver, dubbed "Print-to-Kinko's," allows customers to print documents at Kinko's directly from their desktops.