Under terms of the deal, HP customers will be able to sign up for AOL and
access the service via an AOL icon prominently located on the desktops of
the new HP Pavilion PCs. AOL also said it will be one of the major Internet
services features on the PCs.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cross-promotional efforts will also include an HP icon displayed in
the customized co-branded AOL service toolbar, and links to sites picked by
HP, within the AOL Favorite Places folder.
With today’s announcement, HP enters the co-branding-PC-icon game a bit
late. In recent months, several computer makers formed Web alliances,
featuring Net access services bundled with PCs, such as Compaq. HP may
also be trying to boost PCs sales and appeal to Net newbies by offering
an Internet-friendly PC, and going up against other Internet-capable
computers, such as the popular new iMac.
“We are increasingly seeing that consumers are buying computers to go
online, and this agreement indicates that HP is committed to giving
consumers what they want–the most convenient and comprehensive Internet
online experience in cyberspace,” said Jan Brandt, President of Marketing,
America Online, Inc. “This multi-year relationship with HP is a key step
in reaching the new audiences who are just now buying computers to begin
exploring the Internet.”
“Because online access and e-mail are primary reasons for purchasing and
using a home PC today, our new HP Pavilion PCs are specifically designed to
help our owners get and stay connected to family and friends, as well as
access entertainment and
information available online,” said Harry W. (Webb) McKinney, general
manager of HP’s Home Products Division.