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Dell leads way in Net sales

The PC maker's Internet sales are growing 20 percent per month and generating more than $1 million a day.

Dell Computer (DELL), renowned as one of the first PC companies to blaze a trail into the direct telephone sales business, is now beginning to ring up big sales on the Internet.

Dell's "Internet-Direct" Net-based sales are growing 20 percent per month and generating revenues of more than $1 million a day, according to the company.

Customers can use their Web browser to design, price, and purchase a computer at Dell's site. For example, a customer eyeing a particular PC model could pick and choose from a variety of hardware, software, and extras, experimenting with different configurations at different prices.

The customer can then select a "purchase" button to electronically submit a secure order.

"The Internet is proving to be the ultimate 'direct' medium and the next generation of the direct business model," said Michael Dell, chairman, and chief executive officer, in a written statement. Dell said its Web site gets more than 225,000 visits per week.

Other companies such as Gateway 2000 offer similar services on the Internet.

Dell says its Internet customers range from home consumers, who might buy less expensive systems, to small and large businesses purchasing more expensive systems, including high-end $30,000 servers.

Dell say it has created custom sites for its largest corporate customers to simplify procurement and support processes. One large Fortune 500 customer estimates the annual savings to be more than $2 million from its Dell-developed site.