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Ford scraps PC program for workers

With both the car market and the broader economy skidding to a halt, Ford Motor says that it is formally ending a program intended to give each of its workers a new PC.

    With both the car market and the broader economy skidding to a halt, Ford Motor said Friday that it is formally ending a program intended to give each of its workers a new PC.

    The program, which launched in February 2000, had been on hold since May. In July, Ford scrapped plans to buy additional computers from PeoplePC, the San Francisco-based company that had been supplying the automaker with PCs, Internet service and support.

    Before it was halted, Ford had given out 166,000 PCs, the vast majority to U.S. workers. The automaker ran into tax complications as it looked to expand the program overseas.

    Ford workers were notified today that the program, known as Model E, was being officially shelved.

    "We sent out an e-mail to our employees worldwide basically telling them that, due to the very tough economic environment, that further deployment has been cancelled," Ford spokesman Peter Olsen said.

    PeoplePC made the demise of the Ford deal public in a July filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    "We formally ended our program with Ford in July, and therefore this has no impact on us financially whatsoever," representative Lisa Murray said Friday.

    PeoplePC continues to provide service to the Ford workers who already have received PCs.