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Excite lands key real estate on new IBM Aptivas

Aptiva users will launch Excite's home page when they press the "Internet" button on IBM's keyboard.

Hoping to attract new PC buyers to Excite@Home's Web portal service, new IBM Aptiva PCs will feature a button on their keyboards that will automatically launch Excite's home page.

Aptiva users will launch Excite's home page when they press the "Internet" button on IBM's Rapid Access II Keyboard. The idea is to sell real estate on PCs to Web services looking for ways to reach Web consumers.

Other PC manufacturers such as Compaq Computer have introduced similar methods. Compaq's keyboards have buttons that automatically launch sites such as AltaVista, Shopping.com, and Zip2. Compaq sold AltaVista to CMGI in July for $2.3 billion in stock.

"Distribution continues to be key for the Excite portal, and this relationship extends that strategy to a new audience," Mark Stevens, Excite@Home's executive vice president for business development, said in a statement.

John Yengo, IBM vice president of consumer marketing, said in a statement, "We continue forging new relationships with companies like Excite to enhance the service we provide to individuals with their Aptivas."