Feeds

Microsoft, AOL giving users free PCs

The trouble with MS special offers is that there's always a long-term Bill attached...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The free PC is almost upon us, with AOL, Microsoft and Prodigy all promising to give them away, effectively, in exchange for a three year commitment to use their services. Does this mean Microsoft intends to cut off the entire PC industry's air supply, browser style? Could happen. All three companies are experimenting with a kind of subsidy model similar to the one used for mobile phone sales. Hardware is heavily discounted or free so long as the user signs a contract to use the service for a minimum period, and three years seems to be what MS et al are going for. AOL is offering a $400 rebate on eMachines PCs (the bargain-basement Korean-built range) to anyone subscribing to CompuServe for three years. Prodigy, another of the US biggies, is offering a discount on any PC bought at the Best Buy chain, while Microsoft has been running a test offer with Staples. This is only a pilot, due to end on Saturday, but it's likely to be extended. Microsoft is offering a $400 rebate. PC hardware companies are also tipped to introduce similar plans in conjunction with ISPs, but it's not as yet clear when the experiments are going to extend out of the US. The approach could however give the paid-for ISPs a useful weapon in the fight against free ISPs in the UK. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.