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IBM Launches Industry's First Small Business PC with Speech Recognition

New desktop PC offers features, performance and price for small and medium companies

RTP, NC - 25 Jan 1999: ... IBM* today announced the computer industry's first desktop PC equipped with speech recognition technology for small and growing businesses, the IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series. The new IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series features ViaVoice*, speech recognition software designed to deliver simplicity and naturalness in speech dictation and voice control via the computer system.

"With the incorporation of ViaVoice technology in the IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series, IBM is demonstrating the company's unique ability to research, develop and quickly implement advanced technologies in practical, leading-edge products," said Phil Hester, vice president, technology, IBM Personal Systems Group. "As more and more small and growing businesses embrace the Internet as a way to do business, IBM is uniquely positioned to offer the tailored products and services these customers will need to make e-business work for them."

According to a 1998 IDC study, small businesses account for approximately 45 percent of the PC market. At the same time, the small business segment is also the fastest growing portion of the market. With voice recognition technology gaining momentum in the offices of professionals such as doctors, lawyers and architects, small businesses are well-positioned to take advantage of this emerging technology.

For as little as $50 (1) per month through IBM's new SuccessLease* program, the new IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series, gives users the advanced performance and business productivity tools that larger customers can take for granted. It is one of several new initiatives from IBM, such as the small business marketing programs with CompUSA and OfficeMax , SuccessLease financing and the introduction of the ThinkPad 390 series of notebook PCs, designed to help recapture the imagination of small and growing business customers.

The new IBM Small Business Series desktop PC is customized for office productivity and Internet optimization for conducting e-business, and also has a Ring Central feature on all models to help companies manage incoming and outgoing faxes. This feature is particularly important for small and growing businesses who operate both their fax and telephone on the same phone line. The IBM Small Business Series features such office productivity software as Microsoft Office** , Small Business Edition (2), Lotus SmartSuite* Millenium, and IBM's ViaVoice*, an award-winning voice dictation and desktop navigation package.

To help small and growing businesses conduct e-business, the IBM Small Business Series desktop PC features Netscape Navigator**, Microsoft Internet Explorer**, and Artisoft i.Share*** software, which allows multiple users to connect to the Internet or send/receive e-mail through one external Internet connection, dramatically reducing Internet access costs. Other Internet-friendly equipment includes a 56 KBps data/fax modem on some models and IBM's Scroll Point Mouse for easier web page navigation.

Because information is the most valuable asset of any small and growing business is its information and the IBM Small Business Series desktop PC features the same industry-leading data protection tools, such as SMART Reaction*, ConfigSafe*, and Norton AntiVirus software that IBM has previously introduced to its corporate customers. All of these software tools fall under the umbrella of IBM's Universal Management Agent, an overall management application designed in conjunction with Tivoli to keep the systems that run a business, running smoothly.

IBM's SMART Reaction software for example, automatically backs up the data on the hard drive if the system's error-predicting hard drives foresee a failure, averting disaster before it happens. ConfigSafe software allows the user to easily restore key system files to a working level after a system failure, to get the PC up and running again quickly. Norton Anti-Virus software offers the industry's leading protection against computer viruses, by identifying and eliminating the virus before valuable business data can be compromised. The IBM Small Business Series desktop PC also helps small and growing business users take advantage of advanced systems management by including remote management software, DMI 2.0 compliance and an Asset information Chip (EEPROM).

The IBM PC300GL Small Business Series desktop comes equipped with the latest top-performing Celeron** and Pentium** II microprocessors from Intel, and all models feature powerful integrated S3 Trio 3D graphics, integrated ethernet or modem, and host of hardware features that provide small and growing business customers with the power and performance choices that they require, at a price they can afford. All Pentium II models for example, come with integrated audio speakers.

Small businesses requiring a complete DVD solution, a versatile removable storage medium or a ready-to-go backup solution can equip the IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series with the latest data management options including: IBM 6X IDE Internal DVD-ROM Option Kit, IBM 2X/4X/24X IDE Internal CD-RW Option Kit and TR5 10/20GB Internal IDE Tape Drive.

SuccessLease Financing
Also announced today for small business customers was IBM Global Financing's new SuccessLease program. Financing is critically important to small businesses, yet it is typically time consuming and difficult to obtain. IBM Global Financing has selected Fidelity Leasing Inc. as its third party provider for lease financing and administration for SuccessLease. Fidelity Leasing Inc. was chosen for its record of innovation in small ticket leasing, including its program for small business customers to request financing for purchases up to $50,000 and expect a credit decision within 15 minutes or less for most transactions. SuccessLease features attractive rates and covers other vendor products to provide small business owners with one-stop shopping.

SuccessLease is available alongside IBM's SystemXtra* (3) program, which offers flexible financing options as well as a host of support services, training and software. SystemXtra can help small business customers build complete solutions with a simple transaction. Some of the available ongoing support services available include installation/setup, help desk support and e-business services to conduct business on the Web.

Estimated reseller prices for the new IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series start as low as $1149 (4) (without monitor), depending on model and configuration. The new IBM PC 300GL Small Business Series is available through computer superstores, mail-order catalogues and IBM Business Partners. SuccessLease is available through the IBM Business Partner -- Small Business Program.

For more information, visit the IBM PC website at http://www.pc.ibm.com or IBM small business website at http://www.businesscenter.ibm.com

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* Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation

** Trademark or registered trademark of their respective companies

(1) Sample lease rate is provided by Fidelity Leasing Inc. and is based on a total solution price of $1,000, at a 24-month full payout option; other terms and lease options are available. A $50 per month minimum billing applies.

(2) Offered on some Celeron and all Pentium II models

(3) SystemXtra is available to commercial, and state and local government customers with valid credit. Eligibility for the Technology Exchange Option is based on a $50,000 commitment for a 12-month period. Program is subject to change without notice. Additional terms, conditions and limitations may apply. IBM Global Financing offerings are made available through IBM Credit Corporation in the U.S. and other IBM subsidiaries and divisions worldwide.

(4) Estimated reseller prices only. Resellers set their prices, so actual prices may vary.

Contact(s) information

Ray Gorman
IBM
919-254-7037
rgorman@us.ibm.com

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