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Five year deal with giant of electrical retailing

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Microsoft has struck a five-year deal with Tandy's retail outlets in the US to push high speed Web access. The software vendor will start a "store within a store" in up to 7000 Radio Shack shops in the US. It will use Radio Shack's 25,000 staff to demonstrate and sign customers up to its MSN dial-up or broadband access. Microsoft hopes the deal will speed up the adoption of its high-speed Internet access products, the company said today. For Radio Shack, it will provide extra business in wiring up homes and small businesses for the service. The range of Microsoft products and services available in the stores will include MSN Internet Access, Microsoft WebTV Network services, Windows CE-based handheld devices, MSN mobile solutions and Microsoft home networking. Customers can sign up for narrowband or broadband MSN Internet service and will be able to access a version of MSN co-branded with Radio Shack. "This model for convenient, one-stop shopping will allow us to greatly accelerate America's conversion to broadband services," said Bill Gates. Microsoft also said it would invest $100 million in Radio Shack's Web site. This will involve beefing up the infrastructure for radioshack.com using Microsoft's technology, which is also used for Web sites including Monster.com, 1800Flowers.com and SmarterKids.com. ®

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