Microsoft has admitted it "will not walk away" from the low-price network computer (NC) market, writes Caroline Gabriel.
Instead of offering its NetPC specification as an alternative to the NC touted by Oracle, Sun and IBM, Microsoft will launch a Windows-based terminal (WBT) by the end of the year - "an NC by any other name," say analysts.
This reverses Microsoft's previous strategy to fight off the challenge to Wintel from the NC camp. Instead, it will provide its own version but will position it differently from the NetPC. WBTs will be targeted at the terminal replacement market, while NetPCs will be for existing PC sites, which want to simplify maintenance and lower the total cost of ownership. The network computer is said to be able to meet both these demands.
So far, Hewlett-Packard and terminal makers NCD and Wyse have come out in support of the spec, while many PC makers have committed to the NetPC.
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