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Computers and Internet Service for Free

Techstination feature for Thursday, March 25, 1999

Everybody wants something for nothing. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. It seems to be all the rage these days. Free computers, free long distance service, free access to the Internet. To take advantage of those kinds of offers, you have to give away what turns out to be valuable information about yourself, so advertisers can target you and your family. Gateway Computer isn't about to give PCs away, instead, if you buy one, the company is offering free Internet access for the first year. Product Marketing Director Mike Ritter... .

"What we noticed is a lot of people were talking to us saying hey, we want these systems for the Internet. We want to get a computer so we can get our family on the Internet."

The Internet service is included with PCs selling over a thousand dollars. Not a bad deal. If you're in the market for a home, or to refinance the one you're in now, you can cash in on a deal for a free PC from Microsoft's real estate site at Product Manager Ted Bremer...

"What we're doing is if you actually go in and sign up our application for the financing area and get a loan through Home Advisor, we're actually going to give a free PC for everyone who goes and gets a loan through Home Advisor."

You can choose from among some big national lenders, including Chase Manhattan and Countrywide. You may groan at the thought of Microsoft getting into yet another new business, but the Home Advisor site has some great features for anyone who is looking.