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Juno Online
The Manhattan company that pioneered free e-mail, only to have the brass ring snatched from it's hands by Microsoft-backed Hotmail is no stranger to peddling free services to Net users.

With it's established fee-based service, Juno represents a legitimate threat to upstarts like NetZero and WorldSpy who must spend heavily on advertising to attract new members.

The decision to offer free service was seen by many Industry insiders as an attempt to reclaim ground lost in the war the company had been waging against Earthlink and America Online.

Juno may have several things going for it other providers lack, although it remains to be seen if the company will capitalize on the advantage. With a fully developed infrastructure in place, the company may be able to avoid many of the most frequent complaints about Free Net access - poor customer service, busy signals and dropped connections.

On the other hand, Juno has been at the game a long time and the company has yet to make a profit, no big deal in cyberspace, but a warning sign nonetheless. The early indication - new subscribers to the free service resent priority being given to those on the paid plan.

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