Oracle is about to set up a sister company to Liberate Technology, which went public on Wednesday, to sell socalled Internet Toasters to the education market.
Liberate, which was formerly known as Network Computer Inc (NCI) is now valued at more than $1 billion since its flotation, but will continue to sell settop boxes to the TV market.
Its new sister company, however, will sell settop boxes that run a version of the Linux open source operating system and Netscape browser to the education sector. They will be Intel based machines that come with preloaded applications and 64Mb of memory and will boot from a CD-Rom.
Larry Ellison, Oracle’s president and chief executive, said: “I think the world could do with Internet based PCs, so we’re starting a company to sell them. But you’ll upgrade your software by adding a CD in a case. The machine will be easy to use and low cost and cost less than Microsoft Office.”
While Oracle is currently developing the prototypes, it has not yet decided which supplier it will contract with to build the offerings. They will cost $150 without a monitor and $250 with one.
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