A far-reaching alliance between Intel and Oracle over the network computer (NC) could be on the cards, denting the solidarity of the Wintel axis. US sources claim Intel chief executive Andy Grove met Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in secret two weeks ago to discuss further agreements between the two companies on the NC.
Neither side would confirm or deny that the bosses held talks but insiders claim Jerry Baker, president of Oracle's network computer subsidiary NCI, also met Grove to discuss NC chips. The meetings are believed to show Intel is trying to hedge its bets by retaining its stake in Microsoft?s NetPC initiative, while remaining the major supplier of NC motherboards.
Sources also claim Intel is lobbying PC manufacturers on Oracle's behalf, by trying to persuade Intel OEMs to also build NCs, basing them on its Pentium 133 processor. Ellison gave the first public demonstration of the Intel NC in San Francisco two weeks ago (see Newswire 6 March).
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