Compaq to Fit Presarios with the RealOne

Seattle’s RealNetworks Inc. scored a bit of a coup over rival Microsoft Corp. Wednesday when Houston’s Compaq Computer Corp. Wednesday pledged to ship its upcoming Presario PCs with the digital media company’s newfangled RealOne Player as the default product.

Compaq will also push for customers to sign up as members of the RealNetworks’ subscription services, RealOne Membership and RealOne Music through a RealOne icon on the desktop, a hot link to a co-branded Compaq and RealOne Web site from the Compaq Internet Keyboard and other online and offline promotion vehicles. RealOne Membership and RealOne Music offer Compaq consumers access content from ABCNews.com, CBS, CNN, FOX Sports, Warner Music Group, EMI, Bertelsmann and more.

“Compaq is committed to providing consumers with anytime, anywhere access to entertainment and information, and we are pleased to expand our Internet offerings to include RealNetworks, which has long been a leader in connecting consumers to valuable Web content,” said Bob Lund, Vice President of Business Development, Compaq Computer Corporation. “We believe RealOne offers a premier media experience to our customers.”

The RealOne service and media player launched last week. RealOne Music, powered by the MusicNet platform, became the second online music subscription service to launch after Listen.com’s Rhapsody. It is priced at $9.95 a month and offers 100 streams and 100 downloads per month, with over 75,000 tracks to pick from. RealOne membership with access to premium channels is $9.95 per month. RealOne Gold Membership, which offers access to both premium content and 125 music downloads and 125 music streams, is priced at $19.95.

Compaq Presario desktop and notebook PCs will begin shipping with RealOne as the default media player in early 2002.

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