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IBM Announces Small, New Low-Cost Desktop PCs for Individuals and Small Businesses

New PC 300 Desktop Is About the Size of a Typical Family VCR

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SOMERS, N.Y - 19 Apr 2000: -- IBM today announced new desktop personal computers starting at $679 (1) that combine small size with low cost, IBM reliability and access to award-winning service and support. The new PC 300 (R) is accompanied by IBM "PartnerChoice," a new program designed to support the fast-growing small business and mid-market segments.

According to IDC, small and home offices currently generate 24 percent of all information technology spending in the U.S. By 2002, the number of small offices is expected to reach six million, while the number of home offices is expected to grow to 30 million. Studies show that these customers are extremely price conscious and increasingly turn to resellers for help in installing, integrating and supporting their IT infrastructures.

The new IBM PC 300 is designed for a broad range of applications including those of small businesses, individuals, schools, government agencies and non-profit organizations. All of the new PC 300s feature integrated networking capability, and four models are specifically configured for K-12 education customers in the United States and include a choice of educational software in the base price (2). The new PCs are designed for customers who need a combination of low price, simple set-up and maintenance and extensive features, such as companies preparing new subsidized PC programs for their employees, vendors and customers.

"The combination of low-cost with full customer service seems well-suited for popular new employee PC programs," says Aaron Goldberg, vice president and principal analyst, Ziff-Davis Media. "IBM has introduced low-cost personal computers before, but not with the kind of marketing support and availability expected for these models. The market has made clear that low price isn't enough to maintain customers. They also expect the same level of service and support they've become accustomed to in higher-priced computers."

As some of the smallest desktop computers in the industry -- about the size of a typical family VCR, about 3.5" by 12" by 15" -- the new IBM models fit inside or underneath furniture and are ideal for space-constrained environments such as home offices and classrooms. A similar family of the PCs was also announced under the IBM Aptiva brand, and will be sold direct through www.ibm.com and by phone through 888-SHOP-IBM.

New IBM "PartnerChoice" Program Equalizes Resellers with the Web

IBM will provide its value-added resellers in the U.S. with the option to buy equipment such as the new IBM PC 300s directly from IBM for resale at prices comparable to IBM's www.ibm.com Web site. The "PartnerChoice" program will also make it easier for Business Partners to conduct e-business with IBM by ordering and tracking their purchases on-line.

Business Partners can take advantage of IBM's combined Web and telephone sales engines. In February, IBM launched a multi-million dollar advertising and promotions campaign for www.ibm.com that has included ongoing Web sales promotions, such as popular "Buy Today, Ship Today" models for immediate delivery of PCs.

"By making it easier for our VARs to purchase directly from IBM, we're helping them to be more responsive to our mutual small business customers," said Ralph Martino, vice president of strategy and marketing for IBM's Personal Systems Group. "At the same time, VARs can focus their energies on providing the value-added services that small business customers want."

Specifications for the New IBM PC 300

The newest PC 300 features a choice of an Intel Pentium III (3) 600 MHz (5) processor with a 133 MHz front-side bus, a Pentium III 667 MHz processor with a 100 MHz front-side bus, or Intel Celeron (3) 500, 533 or 600 MHz processors with a 66 MHz front-side bus. Ethernet 10/100 networking capability is built in, simplifying network set-up. It includes 32 or 64 megabytes of SDRAM, up to a maximum of 256 megabytes, and 5-gigabyte (4) or 10-gigabyte SMART III, Ultra ATA/66 hard drives. The desktop model offers three low-profile PCI slots, three bays, two USB ports, one serial port and one parallel port. It includes a full-size 104-key keyboard and mouse. Software pre-loads include Microsoft (6) Windows (R) 98 (6) or Windows (6) NT (R) 4.0. Software also includes a Lotus (7) SmartSuite (7) Millennium license, Access IBM, PC-Doctor, ConfigSafe, Norton AntiVirus, Netscape Communicator, and Update Connector.

The PC 300 is IBM's smallest desktop PC, measuring 90 mm high by 307 mm wide by 382 mm deep (about 3.5" by 12" by 15"). A micro-tower model is also offered, including 3 standard PCI slots, four bays, and four USB ports.

IBM Monitor

The new IBM E74m Multimedia CRT Monitor combines a high quality 17-inch video display with built-in speakers to offer home office and small business customers with reliable sight and sound performance at an exceptional value. As the first 17-inch multimedia monitor in IBM's E series, it is ideal for education and training videos, Internet demonstrations and general business applications. The IBM E74 has a flicker-free 15.9-inch (8) viewable image and an optimum resolution of 1024 x 768 pels at a refresh rate of 85 Hz. The IBM E74 17-inch multimedia monitor is currently available in pearl white and black for an estimated reseller price of $279. (9)

Small Business Financing Options

SuccessLease (10) from IBM Global Financing is an affordable business leasing option for the IBM PC 300 and other IBM solutions, simplifying the leasing process by providing approval within minutes. Available at authorized IBM Business Partners or direct from IBM at the ShopIBM website, SuccessLease offers attractive rates for both IBM and non-IBM solutions to provide small business owners with one-stop shopping.

Service and Support

The IBM PC 300 announced today includes a limited warranty of one year of on-site labor and three years on parts replacement (11), and includes access to IBM's world-class technical support organization, the IBM HelpCenter. With technical support sites located in 14 countries worldwide, IBM offers customers 24-hour telephone access and Internet support. Online support includes access to Hints & Tips, frequently asked questions, downloadable files, and IBM's Online Assistant, a tool enabling customers to quickly diagnose and solve PC problems. Additionally, an electronic Q&A system enables users to send questions via e-mail to technical experts for more help.

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Footnotes

1. Estimated reseller prices without monitor. Resellers set their prices, so actual prices may vary.

2. Software included in educational packages varies by grade level, including Early Elementary, Late Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Reference.

3. Trademark or registered trademark of Intel Corporation.

4. Gigabyte (GB) equals one billion bytes when referring to hard drive capacity; accessible capacity may be less.

5. MHz only measures internal clock speed, not application performance; many factors affect application performance.

6. Trademark or registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

7. Trademark or registered trademark of Lotus Corporation.

8. Actual diagonal viewable image size.

Note: After the date of this announcement, certain minor corrections were made to the text of this press release in order to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement . These corrections were made only to this press release as set forth on the www.ibm.com

site.

9. Estimated reseller price to end users. Actual reseller prices may vary.

10. SuccessLease is offered and administered by third-party providers of business financing approved by IBM Global Financing. All SuccessLease terms and conditions are provided by the third party. SuccessLease is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

11. For terms and conditions or copies of IBM's limited warranty, call 1-800-772-2227 in the U.S. and in Canada call 1-800-426-2255.

IBM and PC 300 are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

For more information

IBM PC 300: http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/businesspcs/

IBM Aptiva: http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/athome

IBM Service: http://www.pc.ibm.com/support

Shop IBM: http://www.ibm.com/shop or 888-ShopIBM

BM Business Partners: http://www.ibm.com/pc/partner/us or 800-IBM-PCPC

Contact(s) information

Bob Page
IBM
(919) 486-0930
rpage@us.ibm.com