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IBM's Easy Choice Creates Online Customer Link

IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, has launched a software-purchasing program for buyers of its Aptiva line of personal computers.

The company, which is the second-largest PC maker in the world, is selling its Aptiva line without any software and is instead offering customers the chance to select two software titles for $9.95, which customers order from IBM's Web site, www.ibm.com, or through Chumbo.com, an online software seller and IBM's partner in the program.

IBM will track the software-buying patterns of its Aptiva owners, who will receive ongoing discounts when they buy multiple titles. A six-pack of titles costs $79.95 through the program.

The company is tracking the sales and compiling customer feedback through its Web site and using that data to determine what titles its customers are interested in and to spur repeat purchases.

“If we see that someone buys Jump-Start Kindergarten this year, we might come back to them next year and offer them Jump-Start First Grade,” said Lisa Johnston, program manager of consumer products at IBM.

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