As previously reported by CNET, the company in New York today announced HP@Home, an Internet access service that will let users of the HP Pavilion, a line of personal computers for home users, connect to the Internet without having to type in a credit card number.
However, Pavilion users will not get free, untrammeled access to the entire Internet. The service will only allow them to connect to the HP@Home site and other selected Web sites.
By pushing a button on a special multimedia keyboard on a Pavilion PC, users will be automatically connected to the HP@Home Web site, HP's main Web site, and selected partner sites including Microsoft and CNET.
HP Pavilion owners will get the limited access five hours per month free. Through a deal with ISP Concentric Network, HP will offer optional fee-based Internet access or give consumers a way to connect with the ISP of their choice.
The service will work with several new Pavilion PCs, including the 7330Z, 7350P, and 7370V models.
The company hopes the feature will provide a convenient marketing and support mechanism so that users can easily download more information about HP products. HP@Home will also help inexperienced users become familiar with the Internet.