Mitsubishi has launched the first home computer to be bundled with a year’s free Internet access.
The Mitsubishi-made Apricot MS540 has a built-in e-mail and Net facility. There are four models in the range that go on sale at the end of the week. Prices range from 1,499 to 2,299.
Virtually all PC manufacturers have brought out machines that are ready to accept Internet connections. However, the Apricot PC is the first to offer free Internet access for a year, from the date of purchase.
The company acquired the resources to launch this new package after unveiling an Internet service provider of its own, called Infotrade, last year. By clicking the mouse three times the user is taken onto the Infotrade Web page and is then free to surf the Net.
Mitsubishi PC marketing communications manager Keith Corbett says: “We think the Net is going to be a big selling point for home users. No manufacturer can afford to bring out a home PC without a modem for Net access. This is the next step.”
The machine will offer two hours free Net access a month for one year.
In a separate development, Microsoft plans to offer a TV-style service on its Internet site, MSN, and aims to offer five new channels, as well as regular daily programmes. The company will offer daily, weekly, and monthly programmes when the service is launched in December. These will include moving animation.
Cover Story, page and New Media, page 28