One of Europe's largest computer companies has launched an IT package designed to transform the lives of panicky technophobes.

The Edge, produced by ICL Sorbus, includes a personal computer, pre-loaded software and a 24-hour interactive helpdesk linked by modem to users. Helpdesk staff will be able to take control of a customer's PC and give instructions on how to solve software problems. David Palk, managing director of ICL Sorbus UK, says: "Service has become the key. The PC hardware is really becoming secondary."

According to ICL research, both business and residential customers want "hassle-free" computing and are prepared to pay for it. The Edge costs between £125 and £200 a month for businesses, depending on equipment and software, and includes regular updating as new software comes on the market. Residential customers pay up to £300 a month, but they would own the equipment outright at the end of three years.

Customers choose between a Panasonic laptop and a Fujitsu ICL desktop computer. CD-Rom, fax modem and printer are all standard. A range of software and full Internet access is also included.

The service will be introduced in London initially and elsewhere in the UK within 12 months.

Details: 0345 669933

Mathew Horsman

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