Network computer vendor HDS has hit out at Sun and other players in the market for failing to deliver NCs either on time or to suit the needs of corporate players.
Michael Kantrowitz, executive vice president at the company, was reacting to a US demonstration of a $750 NC by Sun chief executive Scott McNealy.
"We?ve been hearing what corporations want and it?s not a Java-only machine," he claimed. "People want interoperability with Windows and they want NCs to look as if they have that type of interface but also support terminal emulation and other protocols."
He claimed HDS was the first company to ship an NC, last June, and that the company had sold 5,000 machines worldwide through its channel partners. Large corporations like Shell, BMW and Fujitsu already had units under evaluation and high street banks were also interested in the machines because of their low cost of ownership compared with PCs. He said: "Our benchmarks show we run faster than a P133 using Java."
HDS has started supplying an update to its netOS 2.0 operating system on the #650 @workstation platform and is setting up a UK channel including players like Xanadu, BSG and GCE Marconi Software. The machine uses an i960 Intel Risc chip.
McNealy said that Sun will ship its stripped-down NC before the end of the year but declined to give prices for the products. US analysts estimated a price tag of around $1,000.
Last year Larry chief executive of Oracle, predicted that a glut of machines would hit the market this autumn but many have so far failed to materialise. IBM has announced its NC plans but so far they are not shipping, whilst one source at Big Blue said that the IBM PC Company has quietly shelved plans to include an NC in its notebook line-up, leaving the NC projects to the AS/400 unit.
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