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HolidayBuyer's Guide
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IBM makes deals to bolster direct sales

IBM is offering up a free computer monitor for customers buying business systems direct, in an effort to bolster its direct sales component.

IBM is offering up a free computer monitor for customers buying business systems direct, in an effort to bolster its direct sales component.

Unlike fully direct PC makers, such as Dell Computer, Gateway and Micron, IBM does not typically offer monitors in the price of its systems.

The promotion, which ends Dec. 31, applies to five PC300GL models featuring 500-MHz Pentium III processors. Customers can choose the free 15-inch monitor or receive a $20 rebate on a 17-inch monitor.

The eligible systems include a model with a 500-MHz Pentium III processor, 64MB of memory, 10.1GB hard drive and Windows 98 for $1,049.

Separately, Big Blue authorized two dealers, iGo and I.T. Xchange, to sell its hardware for up to 18 months after it is no longer offered from IBM.

"Our [dealers] are going to see up to 18 months of additional delivery on some of the legacy systems we no longer offer from IBM," said Bob Galush, Options Business Line Management director for the IBM Personal Systems Group. "Customers are always looking to extend the lifecycle of products they have made investments in."

Corporate buyers often see these types of services, where dealers provide continued support to their hardware needs, as an added convenience.

Through the authorized dealer program, the two dealers will provide extended warranties, toll-free telephone and Web-based sales and will sell new or refurbished legacy--or older model--options. The program is available for IBM portables, PCs and PC servers.