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RealTime IT News

Packard Bell-NEC Prefers AOL

Under an expansion of its multi-year marketing agreement with America Online, Inc., Packard Bell announced today it will display AOL as a preferred Internet service on its Packard Bell and NEC Ready-branded personal computers.

Packard Bell and NEC-Ready PC users will see an AOL icon during the initial setup process, enabling them to launch pre-installed AOL software. In addition, Packard Bell also said it plans to promote AOL-owned CompuServe Interactive Services in the initial set-up session.

The number three U.S. computer maker said it will launch a retail marketing campaign that will feature AOL information found on Packard Bell and NEC Ready systems.

"We know how important the Internet online experience is to our customers," said Mal Ransom, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Packard Bell NEC. "By featuring AOL as a preferred online provider on our products, we are making it fast and simple for our customers to access a complete and comprehensive online experience."

Just last week Packard Bell disclosed that its NEC PC line will feature an AT&T icon on the desktop offering Internet connectivity through the WorldNet Service with one month of free access.

AOL also grabbed valuable exposure recently when it was announced that Compaq Computer Corp. plans to feature the AOL service on its Presario desktop models.

As reported in InternetNews.com's Internet Stock report, the industry implications of computer manufacturers featuring access to the Net from the desktop are of major significance.

It appears that while Microsoft Corp. is tied up with the Department of Justice antitrust case, PC makers are starting to call the shots when it comes to their own desktop real estate.