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IBM Introduces Ultimate Internet Tools and Enhanced "Shop IBM" Web Site to Serve Today's Consumer E-Lifestyles

New Uniquely Styled, AMD Athlon Powered Aptiva PC Out Benchmarks Dell's Dimension T600 in PC Magazine Review

August 11 - 11 Aug 1999: ... Research Triangle Park, NC ... IBM® (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a diversity of innovative products and a unique new online shopping experience designed for today's Internet-focused consumer e-lifestyles. These products include the first IBM Aptiva® PCs with recently announced, high-speed AMD® AthlonTM processors. In addition, the systems feature World BookTM Online Internet service with expanded availability and the latest in home phoneline networking technology. These models will be available through the ShopIBM Web site, which has been enhanced to better reflect how consumers want to shop, buy and build a relationship with their e-commerce vendors.

"We understand the value of information and how people want that information to affect their lives in a meaningful way," said Mike Braun, General Manager, IBM Consumer Division. "The Internet has become an integral mechanism by which people communicate and gather knowledge. With this announcement, we are using ShopIBM -- like never before -- to provide the tools and resources necessary to help consumers utilize the Internet in a way that delivers value to their e-lifestyle."

Highlights of Today's Announcement:
-- Enhanced ShopIBM Web site: offering a dedicated "Families" area, in addition to unique online shopping assistants, an interactive consumer e-lifestyle poll and configuration tools.

-- Six New Aptiva models: featuring the world's fastest AMD Athlon processors with superior graphics from nVidia and ELSA, as well as home networking technology with a range of prices up to $2,299*.

-- World Book Online: renowned software reference title now available online to all consumers, including Aptiva owners.

-- IBM/Pacific Bell ADSL Pilot Program: Pacific Bell will waive the ADSL equipment and service installation fee for San Francisco Bay area residents who purchase a DSL-enabled Aptiva model 800 or 902 via the ShopIBM Web site and sign a one-year Pacific Bell ADSL service contract.

"IBM is clearly committed to building customer relationships by providing online assistance to guide shoppers in selecting the right products and services for their needs and helping them learn how to get the most out of what they bought," said Bill Ablondi, Principal, MarketMaps LLC. "In addition, the educational reference material available through World Book Online is a great way to engage consumers via the Internet in one of the prime activities for which they bought their computers."

Delivering no dial-up convenience and super-fast Internet connection and browsing speed -- up to 50 times faster than 28.8 analog modems** -- to consumers, IBM is focused on the future of asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) connection. As such, IBM is teaming up with Pacific Bell to launch an ADSL pilot program, effective August 16, 1999 through September 30, 1999. Under the program, available initially in the San Francisco Bay area, Pacific Bell will waive the $198 ADSL equipment and service installation for customers when they purchase an IBM Aptiva 800 or 902 pre-configured with a Texas Instruments ADSL modem and sign a one-year contract for Pacific Bell DSL service.

ShopIBM Web Site to Offer Dedicated "Families" Area for More than Just Shopping
IBM's newly enhanced ShopIBM site delivers on IBM's promise to help simplify consumers' lives by providing relevant computing and Internet technology through a cybershopping experience that features -- in one central location -- all the necessary equipment, support and information needed for a family's e-lifestyle, such as a PC Assistant that recommends the right Aptiva PC for an individual's lifestyle, as well as a broad array of software and options from IBM and other major brands. With an emphasis on back-to-school, ShopIBM's unique features include:

-- First-of-its-kind Families e-lifestyle area

-- IBM Aptiva PC Assistant

-- Configurator tools and Accessorizor with Auto Recalculation

-- Software and Options

-- Online Monthly Financing through MBNA Bank

-- Instant Interactive E-Lifestyle Poll

-- Enhanced Owner Privileges

Aptiva S Series and E Series PCs: Powerful Performers for Consumers E-lifestyles
IBM today introduced a superior line of new Aptiva E and S Series models ranging in price up to $2,299 for the top-of-the-line Aptiva S Series model 865, a multimedia powerhouse featuring AMD's Athlon 650MHz(1) processor, the world's fastest PC processor. Through a host of customization features, services and discounts, the new Aptiva PCs have been designed to support the diverse computing needs of families, students and very small businesses. Consumer advantages include:

-- Six months free Internet Service from AOL's CompuServe 2000 with the purchase of an eligible IBM system before October 2, 1999 and sign up for a new account by November 2, 1999(2);

-- Programmable, one-touch Internet access; a choice of Web browsers and Internet Service Providers(3);

-- Bundled software selections; and discounts on additional software for greater customization of the consumer's computing experience.

Sold exclusively through the ShopIBM Web site (http://www.ibm.com/shop), the two new Aptiva S Series systems, the 860 and 865, feature large hard drives, memory storage, fast AMD Athlon processors, DVD-ROM drives, leading graphics cards and integrated home phoneline networking technology. The Aptiva S Series 860 was recently reviewed by PC Magazine and, when benchmarked against the Dell Dimension T600, the Aptiva PC outperformed the Dimension in all three tests: Business Winstone 99, 3D WinMark 99 and ZD CPUmark 99.*** The Aptiva 860 includes the following core components:

Aptiva S Series Model 860

Color: Black
Processor: AMD Athlon-600 MHz
Front Side Bus: 200 MHz
Memory: 128 MB
DVD-ROM: 8X-3.3X(4)
Disk Drive: 20.4 GB(5) (7200 rpm)
3D Graphics ELSA AGP Card; nVidia TNT-2 Ultra; 32MB/DVI Port
Audio: Aureal Vortex 2
Speakers: Infinity w/Colored Speaker Grills (blue, red, green, black)
Home Phoneline Networking: Intel ® AnyPointTM Home Network


Additionally, IBM will ship four full-featured Aptiva E Series models, the 572, 590, 595 and 765, which will be sold via ShopIBM and in select authorized retail outlets across the country beginning next month. The Aptiva 590, 595 and 765 systems will include both DVD-ROM and CD-RW for enhanced multimedia storage capability. For superior Internet viewing and accessibility, the Aptiva E Series will also boast new AMD Athlon processors at speeds ranging from 500 MHz to 650 MHz, a Rapid AccessTM II keyboard and Scroll PointTM II mouse.

"The AMD Athlon processor takes IBM's Aptiva line to the next level of performance," said Dana Krelle, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "With Aptiva systems powered by the new AMD Athlon processor, IBM's customers will enjoy a greatly enhanced computing experience when running cutting-edge applications with realistic images or standard productivity software."

World Book Online: Education on the 'Net
As part of today's announcement, World Book Online Internet Service expands its availability beyond Aptiva purchasers to everyone on the Net. Based on the world's best-selling print encyclopedia, World Book Online uses the Internet to deliver curriculum-based information to students and adults that is more up-to-date than any form of fixed (CD- or DVD-ROM) media. It is a one-stop Web site for research and homework that takes students behind the news headlines for a deeper understanding of the complex events that shape today's world. Features include "Issues in the News," "Today in History," "Monthly Feature," "What's Happening this Month" and "Back in Time" that generate appeal across a diverse range of users. Using World Book Online, students now have access, at the touch of a button, to the archives of the World Book print edition. Aptiva customers will find a special key on the Rapid Access Keyboard that takes them directly to World Book Online.

Included in the subscription price of $9.95 per month or $49.95 per year, World Book Online also gives students access to proprietary content from popular newspapers around the country on related research topics, as well as directs students to relevant and reputable Web sites to help with their studies and reports.

Purchasing Choices and Availability
Whether it's through a traditional retail store, direct through the ShopIBM Web site (http://www.ibm.com/shop), or the telephone (1-800-426-7235, ext. 4340), consumers can use the method of purchase that is most comfortable and convenient for them. For customers that want even more configuration options, Circuit City stores across the country feature kiosks where consumers can choose from a wide range of feature and component options. Additionally, a pilot program with Office Max in select markets offers very small businesses the right products and services via innovative IBM "stores" located within Office Max stores. Consumers that are interested in additional memory, enhanced storage drives, cable modems, or even a subwoofer can easily order these Options to complement their Aptiva system at the time of purchase.

The new Aptiva S Series models will be available through the ShopIBM Web site in September. The new E Series models will also be available next month at retail. World Book Online is available immediately. For more information about IBM Aptiva PCs, visit the IBM home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.ibm.com/aptiva or call 1-800-426-7235 ext. 4340. Information on World Book Online can be obtained through the Web site, http://www.worldbookonline.com, or via phone: 1-800-320-8377.

About IBM

IBM is a leading manufacturer and developer of hardware and software solutions for the home. IBM's consumer products have been widely recognized for technology innovation, product design and service and support. For the seventh year in a row, consumers have awarded IBM with an "A" rating in PC Magazine's annual "Service and Reliability Survey."

# # #


IBM, Aptiva, Rapid Access, ScrollPoint Mouse and Owner Privileges are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
World Book is a registered trademark of World Book, Inc., a Scott Fetzer Company.
AMD and Athlon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
CompuServe is a trademark of CompuServe Interactive Services, Inc.
Intel is a registered trademark and AnyPoint is a trademark of Intel Corporation.
Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

*Estimated reseller price without monitor. Actual prices may vary.

**Actual connect speeds depend on many factors and are often less than the maximum possible.

***See PC Magazine online, First Looks - Athlon vs. PIII at 600 MHz, August 9, 1999.

(1) MHz only measures internal clock speed, not application performance; many factors affect application performance.

(2) (NOTE: THE REBATE OFFERED ABOVE IS THE 6 MONTHS FREE, NOT THE $400 REBATE) Other restrictions apply. See store for full details.

(3) Telephone line charges and surcharges may apply. Online service charges will apply after expiration of initial trial period.

(4) Single layer mode, 6X-2.5X DVD-ROM (dual layer mode) variable read rate. Actual playback speed will vary and is often less than the maximum possible.

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

Contact(s) information

Lisa Kaslyn
IBM
212-745-3110
kaslyn@us.ibm.com

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