The package is SimplyBroadband which carries a 12-month contract, provides up to 16mbps download speed and doesn't have any limits.
However, once you factor in the line rental for a year as well as equipment costs, the total cost of ownership for the first year shoots to £217.40 or just over £18.
As for the computer, it is a refurbished dual-core model with an 80GB hard disk drive, a new keyboard and mouse, Windows 7, a flat screen display and an optical drive. Add in £59 and you can upgrade to a refurbished laptop. In either case, you will also get a 12-month warranty.
No strings attached
Those receiving benefits will get Windows 7 Pro and Microsoft Home and Office Student 2010. The offer runs until 30th November and is limited to one machine per laptop.
The offer is part of Microsoft's Digital Inclusion Scheme (Go ON UK) via a dedicared website called getonline@home.
The ever*falling price of hardware and Microsoft's recent decision to give away Windows for free on some devices means that these deals are likely to become more frequent.
Free PCs with broadband and internet are nothing new; at the beginning of this century, companies like RedTen or Free-PC, tried to do the same thing but failed miserably.
This new, not-for-profit, scheme however is backed by Microsoft and aims at getting more users online rather than poaching customers from other providers.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.