One of the UK's leading computer analysts and prominent supporter of the Network Computer has attacked the technology for not being a thin client.
Robin Bloor, chief executive officer at Bloor Research, told a conference of corporate developers last week: "The NC can't claim to be a thin client.
A radio is a thin client. A television is a thin client ... but not a Network Computer."
Bloor believes NC vendors have lost their way. He slammed the whole NC initiative as being what he described as a "competitive broadside by a group of vendors acting in their own interest". He feels that the main reason why companies such as IBM are supporting the NC is to sell more servers. "The ultimate thin client is a graphics processor," he declared.
Bloor also attacked web browsers for being "fat". He believes browsers have simply become a slightly thinner alternative to the ubiquitous graphical user interface.
Referring specifically to Microsoft's Hydra technology, which enables all user applications to run on an NT Server, Bloor asked: "Why not put the browser on the server?" This would help to make the client as thin as possible.
Jeremy Gittens, senior product manager at Microsoft UK, who was also speaking at the event, failed to respond.
The server side of network computing didn't escape Bloor's scathing either.
He blamed the failure of client-server technology on it being "too damn difficult (to implement)", and said that this situation would occur in network computing five years down the road. "In five years time we will have the cost of ownership issue all over again," he predicted.
The problem that Bloor sees arising in the not too distant future is an explosion of specialised servers such as servers for Email, applications, databases, web and domain names.
Instead, "I am advocating server consolidation," said Bloor. He believes that web servers should "eat" all other servers and will become the only way users communicate with corporate applications.
Bloor made his comments at his company's NC/PC debate in London, attended by over 100 corporate IT developers and industry representatives.
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