Manila, August 1, 2003 By Alma Buelva (STAR) Intel, the world’s largest computer chip maker, and McDonald’s, a leading fries and hamburger chain, have installed Intel Pentium 4 desktop computers at the fastfood’s PlayPlaces for the free use of its young patrons.

The pilot McDonald’s branches are those in Greenbelt, Glorietta and J.P Rizal. Each should have at least three kiosks running PC-based games developed exclusively for the partnership by Viventis Holdings.

Ricky Banaag, country manager of Intel Microelectronics Phils. Inc., said the partnership with McDonald’s is in line with the chip manufacturer’s commitment to show children that technology is fun.

"We want to showcase our technology in a fun place and what could be more fun than a McDonald’s (restaurant)," he said.

Leila Hernandez, McDonald’s senior vice president for marketing, said that McDonald’s is the first in the quick-service restaurant industry to bring this type of innovative value-added service to its customers.

"We are setting here a new way for a more fun and relevant dining experience," she said, adding that the kiosks are "both for the young and the young at heart."

McDonald’s PlayPlaces covered by the partnership with Intel will be equipped with Intel Web cameras, Intel-powered machines with hyperthreading technology, and an original interactive game called "McDolander."

The hyperthreading technology allows the PCs to simultaneously perform multiple tasks, while providing higher quality graphics and animation.

In addition, the machines are connected to the Internet by broadband DSL lines from Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

The interactive PlayPlaces are integrated into McDonald’s overall marketing program, said Zonito Torrevillas, McDonald’s public relations manager, hinting that there are passwords that go with every McDonald’s Happy Meal, which would allow kids to use certain PC applications.

The new high-tech PlayPlaces are expected to become a big hit among kids, especially on weekends.

McDonald’s has more than 30,000 stores serving 46 million customers each day in more than 100 countries.

This special partnership between Intel and McDonald’s is being implemented only in Asia and the Philippines is the pilot country. The two companies will first assess how the project will be received in the next three months before expanding it to other McDonald’s branches .

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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