RealTime IT News

Microsoft, Lan Plus Join Free PC Fray

National Internet access providers are continuing to utilize free personal computer deals to entice new users their way.

Microsoft Corp. Thursday became the latest to join the trend by announcing an agreement with PC manufacturer Lan Plus Inc. to resell MSN Internet Access.

As a result of the deal, Lan Plus is offering free computer to customers when they sign up for a three-year contract with MSN Internet access. Consumers will receive their PC and unlimited MSN Internet Access service when they prepay $17.99 a month for 36 months.

Rob Bennett, Microsoft group product manager for the consumer and commerce group, said the agreement with Lan Plus would help broaden MSN's reach and motivate consumers to get online now.

"We are excited to team up with Lan Plus to make MSN Internet Access available to its customers," Bennett said. "The recent accolades are a result of our investment in the access business, and with agreements like the one with Lan Plus we can help more and more consumers get online and explore the Web."

Recently companies including America Online Inc., eMachines Inc. and Micron Technology Inc. have partnered to produce the same type of free home computer offers. In an effort to reduce sales revenue lost to online offers, national electronic retailers like Best Buy Co. have also offered the same type of free PC deal with Prodigy Communications Corp.