French shoppers bag bargain PCs

The world's first sub £200 PC has found favour with French shoppers. Launched over the weekend by French supermarket chain Géant, 3000 Power Net 300 machines have already been sold.
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

The knock-down price of 1,990 Francs or approximately £180 is the result of a partnership between Cyrix, Geant and a French ISP, Infonie. Stan Swearingen, vice president for National's Cyrix PC division commented: "This is another example of how Cyrix is enabling more and more people access to the Internet."

Customers get a computer with a Cyrix M II- 300 processor, a 15" monitor, 32 MB RAM and a 56K modem. Included in the package is Windows 98 and Internet access software. According to a Cyrix spokesman, the machine is "customised for the Internet" and is set to compete with high-street machines retailing for £1000.

The partnership between a chip maker and an ISP is a concept espoused by National Semi-Conductor CEO Brian Halla. Last year, he spoke of a time when computers would be given away free by ISPs. "You will be buying Internet access instead of a computer," a Cyrix spokesman said.

When will such computers be available in the UK? No specific details are yet available, but the company spokesman added: "It will affect every country."

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