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Spinway Adds Apple To Internet Pie

Spinway, Inc.'s co-branding partners can now get its hands on an overlooked member of the Internet community with the free Internet service provider's announcement to include Apple Computer, Inc., MacIntosh support and access.

Spinway isn't the first major free Internet service provider to bring Apple users into the fold, but it's the only one in town these days. The service was first provided by Freei.net last October, but the free ISP folded up last month and was assimilated by NetZero, Inc. . A quick check on NetZero's site shows no continuation of Freei.net's Mac support.

One of the biggest challenges Mac users have faced since the dominance of the Windows Operating System in the early '90s is relevance. To the general public, Mac is right up their with the Beta-style Video Cassette Recorder; all the cool software and games use Windows as its platform, with Mac added almost as an afterthought.

Available only to iMac and PowerMac computers running MacOS 8.1, the browser-independent software is available online with a download or a CD. The software uses only 5MB of disk space and 8MB of RAM. According to Spinway officials, customer service representatives have been trained to assist Mac users downloading and installing the software into their computer.

Steve Seabolt, Spinway president and chief executive officer, said his company's partners are the real beneficiaries of this announcement.

"We are very excited to enable our partners the ability to offer their Mac customers the same high-quality, free Internet access that their PC users have been experiencing with Spinway," Seabolt said. "Consumers have the benefit of receiving a premier service for free from a name band they know and trust, and our advertising clients have the opportunity to extend their reach to a broader audience."

Spinway partners include Barnes & Noble, Costco Wholesale Corp. , KMart and Ace Hardware.

Mac support has received a very lukewarm reception to the free ISP community. Gary Baker, Juno Online Services, Inc. , spokesperson, said his company doesn't currently offer or plan to offer Mac support in the near future. That's not to say, Baker said, that down the road the company won't offer the service.