BELARC NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES

NECX Direct is First to Provide Competitive Advantage to Customers With Belarc's Advisor Internet Sales Tool System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Editorial Contacts: Michele Glorie or Megan Wolfe FitzGerald Communications Inc. (617) 494-9500

Company Contact: Sandie Marrinucci NECX (508) 538-5802

Belarc, Inc. Sumin Tchen (508) 371-2365

NECX Direct is First to Provide Competitive Advantage to Customers With Belarc's Advisor Internet Sales Tool System

Implementation of Service Simplifies Procurement and Ensures Customer Software and Hardware Compatibility

Peabody, Mass. * Jan. 14, 1997 * NECX Direct, a division of NECX, today announced its implementation of Belarc, Inc.'s Advisor Internet Sales Tool system as a value-added service to its customers. With the Belarc Advisor, NECX Direct customers can now easily identify the compatibility of computer hardware and software and receive technology enhancement recommendations prior to purchase.

As the industry's first electronic commerce site to implement the Belarc Advisor, NECX Direct has taken the lead by providing its high-technology buyers with an automated, real-time compatibility testing application. The Belarc Advisor is currently active for thousands of NECX Direct computer products and the number of new products supported by this technology increases weekly.

"Selecting the Belarc Advisor reduces the guesswork often involved in buying computer products," said Brian Marley, General Manager, NECX Direct. "This new functionality increases purchasing autonomy and eliminates the anxiety that customers experience when product compatibility is questioned."

"Belarc's technology combined with the depth and breadth of NECX Direct's inventory creates the ideal environment for making fast and accurate decisions about computer products that best meet the user's needs," said Henry Bertolon, President and CEO, NECX. "As a result, NECX Direct customers will be able to buy the right product the first time."

NECX Direct Provides Competitive Advantage

How It Works

As NECX Direct customers make a computer product selection, the Belarc Advisor button appears on the requested product page. On command, the Belarc Advisor performs a rapid compatibility test based on the customer ,s current PC hardware and software configuration. If the product chosen is not compatible with the target system, a notification instantly appears on the user's screen, identifying possible incompatibility and offering suggestions for component upgrades as necessary.

"We are very pleased that NECX is the first Internet merchant to offer the Belarc Advisor system on its Web site", said Sumin Tchen and Gary Newman, founders, Belarc, Inc. "NECX and its customers will clearly benefit from the Company's 'can-do' approach to business and technology innovation."

NECX Direct

NECX Direct is a division of NECX, the world ,s largest independent distributor of semiconductors and computer products, with revenues of more than $448 million. As the most comprehensive computer products superstore on the Internet, NECX Direct provides corporate, education and government buyers and consumers with a $500 million inventory of brand-name computer products from the industry ,s best known manufacturers. In addition, tens of thousands of full color product images, and more than one million individual product specifications help buyers make informed purchasing decisions. NECX is a privately held company founded in 1980. It employs more than 280 people and conducts business from its worldwide corporate headquarters in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Belarc, Inc.

Belarc, Inc. develops and licenses Internet sales tools for Internet Merchants and Catalog companies. When you go to these sites and click on the Belarc button, you will know with certainty that you will be buying the right product for your computer. Belarc has applied for patents covering the Belarc Advisor System. Additional information is available on Belarc's Web site at http://www.belarc.com or by contacting Sumin Tchen at (508) 371-2365 or via e-mail at sumin@belarc.com.