HP's education services arm is offering access to a free one-hour Microsoft Windows XP training course over the internet.
The instructor-led online training course, free until January 2002 and $99 thereafter, provides an introduction to the operating system allowing customers to see for themselves what all the hype is about.
"This is an ideal way for customers to satisfy their curiosity about XP without having to leave their desk or cover travel expenses," said Richard Kerr, Microsoft education manager at HP Education Services.
Colin Steed, chief executive of the Institute of IT Training, said: "Obviously the benefits of free courses depend on the quality, but we ought to encourage it. After all, you've got nothing to lose."
Meanwhile, Microsoft is offering a 'buy one get one free' offer for hands-on workshops delivered through Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centres until 30 November.
The three-hour sessions, priced around £50, allow individuals to familiarise themselves with some of the features of Microsoft products. Subject areas include an introduction to .Net, Office XP Developer, Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP.
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