Compaq will pre-install a hotkey on the desktop of its Presario product range that links Compaq consumers directly to the E*TRADE Web site.
Under the alliance, new Compaq customers will have easier access to a range of financial services from the E*TRADE site, which will allow the customers to manage financial portfolios from home.
While the marketing opportunities are obvious for E*TRADE, who will receive a significant amount of new customer opportunities as a result of the alliance, the benefits for Compaq are not as clear. Bill Wileman, general manager, marketing at E*TRADE, said the alliance was a great opportunity to market his company to Compaq customers. As for what Compaq had to gain, Wileman said he was not in a position to comment except to suggest Compaq would like to see themselves aligned with Internet players like E*TRADE.
Compaq consumer products spokesperson Mark Locchi said Presario customers are receiving "enhanced Internet services," and said he considers the E*TRADE hot button a value-add to the Presario product. He did admit there were financial arrangements as part of the agreement, but would rather not go into the details.
Wileman is confident that online trading services will appeal to many Compaq PC users, suggesting that even if a home user only made a few trades a year, he would consider the alliance a success.