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IBM Debuts e-business Products and Services for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Ease of Use, Affordability Key to SoHo Market

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Somers, NY - 17 Mar 1999: -- IBM* today announced new products and services that enable consumers, entrepreneurs and small businesses to leverage the power of the Internet for e-business. Designed for price-conscious buyers that value ease of use, these products include IBM Web authoring and graphic design software, an e-commerce software tool, ThinkPad notebook PCs and a service for safeguarding valuable data.

"Everybody recognizes that the promise of the Internet is transforming your operation into an e-business," said Bill McCracken, General Manager of Strategy and Marketing for IBM's Personal Systems Group. "IBM is offering entrepreneurs and small businesses everything they need to quickly create a presence on the Internet and engage in e-commerce."

Design Web Pages in Minutes
IBM NetObjects TopPage Web authoring software provides beginners and experts alike with the ability to build professional-quality Web pages without programming experience. IBM TopPage includes the tools necessary to create a Web site, with a step-by-step multimedia tutorial that guides users through each aspect of Web design. TopPage provides built-in tools for creating lively Web pages, as well as the ability to manage Web pages easily and efficiently.

Based on the number-one selling Web authoring and design software tool in Japan -- IBM HomePage Builder -- IBM TopPage sells for half the price of competing software, while providing individuals, families, schools and small businesses an easy-to-use tool for creating compelling Internet and intranet sites. IBM NetObjects TopPage has an estimated retail price of $59.95**.

Make Web Pages Come Alive
IBM PerfectPhoto design and imaging software allows even novice computer users to easily manipulate digital camera shots or scanned photographs into customized Web pages, greeting cards, brochures, posters and calendars. A multimedia slide show feature matches moving photographs with music and sounds to create compelling executable files or screen savers. A step-by-step tutorial and on-line guide offer tips for taking advantage of PerfectPhoto's advanced functionality. IBM PerfectPhoto has an estimated retail price of $39.95**.

E-commerce Enable Your Web Site
Startup 2 for e-business, a complete package designed to get small businesses up and running on the Internet quickly and inexpensively, has been upgraded to deliver a more comprehensive solution. It includes the tools necessary to go online to publish, take credit cards, as well as maintain and host a Web site with IBM HomePage Creator for e-business. Startup 2 for e-business has an estimated retail price of $29.99**.

Carry Your Business with You
IBM brings the award-winning ThinkPad legacy to entrepreneurs and small businesses with three new ThinkPad 390E notebook PCs. With a sleek, all-in-one design that combines the floppy, CD-ROM and hard drive plus a modem into a single unit, the ThinkPad 390E offers enhanced flexibility in a value-priced notebook.

The UltraBay FX modular bay supports user-swappable components, including options such as a second battery, a second hard disk drive or a new DVD/FDD combo drive ($395***), enabling individuals to match their needs through a variety of configurations. Starting with a user-upgradable hard drive (3.2GB to 4.3GB standard), the ThinkPad 390E can provide up to 14.3GB of storage with an optional 10GB hard drive ($1,065) installed in the UltraBay FX. Adding an optional second battery ($229) boosts running time to up to eight hours****.

Multimedia applications come to life on a choice of 14.1-, 13.3- or 12.1-inch active matrix TFT displays and rich stereo sound with 16-bit stereo with audio In/Out. The ThinkPad 390E also supports Sound Blaster ProTM applications and 3D sound, and features an integrated microphone, 256-bit video for enhanced screen performance and a ZV port for third-party video adapters. For users that prefer a mouse, the optional IBM ThinkPad Mobile Mouse ($65) weighs just three ounces.

At just $1,899***, the IBM ThinkPad 390E Series model 90U offers a 300MHz Intel® CeleronTM processor, 12.1-inch TFT display, 32MB RAM and 3.2GB user-upgradeable hard drive. The model COU, $2,299, adds a 300PE MHz Intel Mobile Pentium II processor and 13.3-inch TFT display. The model DOU, $2,699, adds a 14.1-inch active matrix TFT display, 64MB RAM and upgradeable 4.3GB hard drive.

Back Up Your Business
IBM is debuting an innovative service that protects desktop or notebook PC data from a variety of common missteps and disasters that can plague anyone -- from accidental deletion or corruption of a file, to PC failure or theft. Unlike traditional back up methods that require users to purchase storage peripherals and to label, handle and carefully store media, IBM's new PC Data Vaulting service provides the best industry practices of storing multiple copies of data in off-site locations, without any effort on the user's part.

Subscribers to the IBM PC Data Vaulting service automatically have PC files on their hard drive backed-up to an IBM secure data center whenever they are connected to the Internet. Rather than backing up entire files each time, a unique technology backs up only the select portions of files that have been modified since the last back up, saving valuable time and bandwidth.

Unsurpassed IBM security technologies ensure that all data and application files are encrypted for privacy using Federally-approved 56-bit or 112-bit encryption technology. For added protection, encrypted copies of every file are stored at two IBM off-site secure data centers.

Individual files -- even previous versions of documents since deleted from a PC -- can be retrieved in as little as 30 seconds over the Internet. In the event of PC failure or theft, the entire contents of the user's hard drive can be delivered on a CD-ROM by an overnight courier. The IBM PC Data Vaulting service can be used with PCs that operate Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0. To register for the service, visit http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/thinkpad/pcdv.html.

Today's announcement follows several joint marketing relationships recently launched by IBM to make it easier for small businesses to purchase IBM products. They include an alliance with American Express to provide American Express small business corporate card members automatic discounts of up to 10 percent on a broad range of IBM products; an alliance with CompUSA to offer IBM packaged solutions through CompUSA Business Centers; and a pilot program with OfficeMax to enable the company to exclusively offer IBM products and services in an IBM "store-within-a-store."

IBM NetObjects TopPage, IBM PerfectPhoto, ThinkPad 390E and the PC Data Vaulting service are now available at leading retailers and resellers or through the Shop IBM Web site at http://www.direct.ibm.com. Startup 2 for e-business will be available in May 1999.

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*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

** Manufacturer's suggested retail price, dealer prices may vary. Price is current as of March 17, 1999 and is subject to change without notice.

*** Estimated reseller price. Actual prices may vary.

****Results obtained using BAPCo SYSmark Benchmark Test. Battery life (and recharge times) will vary based on many factors including screen brightness, applications, features, power management, battery conditioning and other customer preferences. Battery life may be less using Windows NT.