Dataworks, an Australian software publisher and distributor, has signed a bundling agreement with Acer. Each Acer Acros and Aspire desktop or minitower model sold within the reseller channel will now come installed with 15 titles of Australian educational software from Dataworks. "Both models were specifically designed for the home user," said Carmela Naval, marketing communications manager for Acer. John Thomas, managing director of Dataworks, says the scope of the agreement is wider than just an incentive for customers to buy the machine. "It's a great opportunity for local developers to have their products distributed locally," he said.
Although Thomas acknowledges the bundling of software is "becoming standard practice", this is the first time that a multinational company has bundled Australian-developed products. "It's a sign of growth and development happening in the local industry. It's just the first step to a very exciting future," he said. "Local industry is getting off its feet now and doing some exciting things. What started as a cottage industry is now ready to soar."
Because the software comes pre-loaded, Thomas said the package reaches the customers for practically no extra cost. Some of the titles included are, What's for Dinner?, Thank You!, Insects: A World of Diversity, Birds of Australia and Crossword Genius.
With ambitions in the export market, Dataworks is developing two "export focused" multimedia titles. The first package stars Pat Cash and a number of other prominent Australian sports people. Pat Cash: Tennis My Way will be available by the end of the month, and is expected to retail for $49.95. An early childhood multimedia entertainment title, starring the children's favourite, Humphrey B. Bear, will be available in May. It is expected to retail for around $69. Although Thomas predicts the products will be very popular in Australia, he expects the majority of revenue to come from the larger export market. Likewise, Acer recognises the export potential: "Acer is using its global network to create possibilities for Australian-developed software outside of Australia," Naval said.
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