Dell said Friday that it will offer consumers zero interest financing on everything from digital music players to television sets as the No. 1 personal computer maker tries to steal share in the consumer-electronics market.

Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, has offered zero percent financing to business customers in the past as it faced stiff competition and a downturn in demand for technology. Although that downturn has eased, corporations have been slow to return to their old buying habits, making consumers and their steady spending habits an attractive target.

Dell, as well as its competitors Hewlett-Packard and Gateway, has launched a slew of products aimed at consumers. It now sells Dell-branded printers, handheld computers and LCD televisions in addition to computers and data storage machines.

The zero percent financing offer is for purchases of $500 or more and starts Jan. 3 and runs through Jan. 30. It applies to 12 months of financing, the company said. In addition to consumer electronics, the offer includes Dell's personal computers.

c|net