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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Compaq, Starbucks team up

Associated Press

HOUSTON — Compaq Computer Corp. and Starbucks Coffee Co. announced yesterday a five-year, $100 million deal in which Compaq will equip the coffee shop chain to give its customers wireless Internet access while they sip their latte.

Michael Capellas, chairman and CEO of Compaq Computer Corp., and Howard Schultz, chairman and chief global strategist of Starbucks Coffee Company, announced their partnership yesterday at a Starbucks in Houston.

Associated Press

Houston-based Compaq said it is supplying Starbucks with iPAQ handheld computers and other equipment to give customers high-speed, wireless Internet access in its North American stores.

Coffee drinkers will also be able to use their own devices to connect to the Internet through a local network picked up over the airwaves in each store.

"The plan is, you'll be able to enjoy a pretty exciting wireless experience, with equipment on site to connect with that," Compaq executive vice president Peter Blackmore said. "And if you already have equipment on hand, you'll be able to connect with that."

Compaq, working with Microsoft Corp., expects to outfit 500 stores by midsummer. Eventually, about 70 percent of Starbucks' U.S. stores would be equipped for wireless Internet access, Compaq spokeswoman Dayna Fried said.

The deal announced yesterday names Compaq as the preferred technology provider for Starbucks' 4,100 stores and Seattle headquarters.

Starbucks is the largest U.S. specialty coffee retailer. Compaq trails Dell Computer Corp. in sales of personal computers and makes servers, mainframes and other equipment.