Federal Express is evaluating bids from six vendors for one of the world's largest network computer contracts to date.
A company representative confirmed the package delivery firm plans to buy 50,000 to 70,000 NCs to replace 3270 dumb terminals and ageing mobile PCs. It will install the new devices in the first quarter of next year and will run Java on them.
Fedex would not reveal which suppliers are under consideration although Oracle's NCI unit and IBM are believed to be in the running.
Although several large companies are currently evaluating NC contracts, a Fedex deal would give a particular boost to the fledgeling market because of the carrier's reputation for being at the cutting edge of technology, said analysts Gartner Group.
John MacGilvary of Datapro believes added significance lies in Fedex' commitment to Java, which suggests it will expand its use of NCs beyond merely replacing terminals, to become part of an operating system-independent communications strategy.
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PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23