Sun?s Javastation is delayed yet again, as the company confirmed it will not launch its next generation network computer in January as planned.
Instead, the upgraded Javastation is expected to arrive nearer the end of the first quarter at the earliest.
Simon Tindall, desktop marketing manager at Sun Microsystems, commented: ?In terms of hardware, the dates of January and February are optimistic. It may be a couple of months after that.?
The original Javastation?s first commercial launch fell foul of terrible delays. Sun had unveiled the machine at press conferences around the world in October 1996 and the commercial release was expected in June the following year. However, when June arrived, there was no sign of the product.
Sun executives cited problems with the Java OS and promised the computer would ship in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter of 1997, Sun held a Java conference in Germany, but had no Javastation for release, only a 50-foot high version in pride of place on stage.
At the time, Sun said the computer would be ready for shipping in January 1998 - this time manufacturing problems with the processor were to blame.
Two months later and the ill fated Javastation finally arrived at the Java One conference in the US in March.
Tindall commented that Sun needed to ensure the new version was just right. ?There has been some criticism of the Javastation performance. Sun is ensuring that when it does come out it doesn?t get hit by the same criticisms.?
He added: ?There?s no point in launching something if it's not right.?
Tindall would not be drawn on exactly how many customers had bought Javastations. ?I would say that many people are at the implementation stage.?
IT research company Gartner is sceptical of the Javastation?s likely success. Gartner analyst Russ Crabbs commented: ?Sun claims to have 250 pilot programmes of its Javastation product, which should translate into hundreds of thousands of production shipments during the next 12 to 18 months. We have yet to see broad support for Java devices and would maintain conservative estimates for these devices during the next two years.?
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