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December 2000

Terminal Bliss

Internet access at easyEverything

Microsoft, Amazon… easyEverything? With its 23 locations worldwide, the store that offers a unique pricing policy, high-speed Internet access and enough terminals for a small town might just become the next household brand name of the information age. Conceivers of easyEverything have taken the “café” out of Internet café and replaced it with first-rate service and connectivity. Subject to demand, those who do not have Internet access at home, travelers and passersby can pay two marks for between 20 minutes and five hours of surf, e-mail or chatting time, 24 hours a day. A monitor at the entrance lets the would-be customer know what the going rate is. After customers have paid a cashier in a bright orange, button-down shirt, it’s just a short stroll to one of the 550 computer terminals spread out over two floors at Bahnhofsplatz 1. All the terminals, which offer flat-screen monitors packed together in Ikea-like efficiency on a low dividing wall between users, offer high-speed access to the Internet at a rate 30 times faster than ISDN. At easyEverything customers can also download files, print in black and white and color and burn CDs. Terminal service and ordering per computer are in the works, as well as PC-telephones and video games for intra-shop competition. Because all that technology can work up an appetite, easyEverything takes care of its customers’ nutritional needs by offering coffee and snacks. The next link in the company’s chain will open soon in New York City. With 800 terminals, the Big Apple branch will be the world’s largest easyEverything, eclipsing the Amsterdam store, which boasts 650 terminals. <<< JW

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