A US company?s decision to give away PCs for free will not result in vendors like Compaq and IBM following suit.
Despite widespread public interest in the concept of free PCs, industry watchers have been quick to dismiss this sales model as feasible for the major players. A UK analyst today said he believed the move was more of a publicity stunt than anything else.
The company, Free-PC.com, said it would give away the 333MHz machines complete with Windows 98 and Internet access, the only drawback is that 50 per cent of the hard disk is taken up with advertising. The desktop view will be enclosed in a frame, around which will be specially targeted advertisements.
To qualify for the PCs, customers must first fill out detailed questionnaires on themselves and their families.
Andy Brown, a PC analyst with IDC commented: ?I believe this deal is specifically targeted at schools. A lot of companies have special deals for schools and colleges and in Scandinavia and France this has been going on for some time."
"As we get closer to the millennium PC prices are likely to fall even lower, but I can?t see major vendors giving away their hardware for free. It's an interesting concept and a nice publicity stunt,? he said.
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