RealTime IT News

IBM Bundles Juno Service

Juno Online Services Inc. hopes to snare more dialup customers with Wednesday's announcement to bundle its service with certain IBM desktop computers.

Starting in mid-August, IBM is bundling the Juno service with its low- to mid- priced PC product line, including the NetVista ($1,089) and Aptiva ($699-$2,219) models. The agreement is a multi-year distribution deal.

Charles Ardai, Juno's president and chief executive officer, said the deal gives IBM users access to Juno's free and premium online services.

"We're excited to be working with IBM and pleased that they have agreed to distribute Juno with their personal computers," Ardai said. "This relationship will put Juno in front of many potential new users, and will bring added value to IBM's customers."

Juno offers both free, advertising-supported access and fee-based options to more than 11 million subscribers. Of that number, 3.38 million are active users made up of paying subscribers and free users logging on through Juno at least once a month, making it the nation's third largest ISP behind America Online Inc., and Earthlink Inc.

Beck Yeamans, Juno vice president of public relations, said the deal gives Juno a better chance to reach consumers as they begin their PC experience.

"Juno will reach a very wide audience with our deal with IBM," Yeamans said. "IBM customers will find Juno a very valuable resource when they sign up for our service and see what we have to offer."

This isn't Juno's first venture into bundled deals with hardware corporations. In June, the ISP announced a similar agreement with wireless handheld Palm VII products.

Selling Internet service with computers is considered a savvy move for ISPs, as first-time computer customers are likely to try the offered ISP software.

Both AOL and Microsoft Network have deals with retailers to offer rebates to customers who buy a computer, on the condition they sign a multi-year contract for the service.