Balance shifts between Net PCs and Linux appliances

Balance shifts between Net PCs and Linux appliances

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

JULY 10—As Oracle Corp. and the New Internet Computer Co. of San Francisco released their $199 NIC Internet appliance today, one leading PC maker appeared to be pulling back on streamlined, Web-focused systems.

The $199 NIC has a 266-MHz processor, 64M of RAM, a 24X CD-ROM drive, a 56-Kbps modem, a 10/100-Mbps Ethernet interface, two Universal Serial Bus ports, a keyboard, a mouse and speakers. A monitor costs extra. The Linux operating system and Netscape Navigator 4.7 browser are included. The NIC has free Internet service available but can use any provider's service. More information appears on the Web at www.thinknic.com.

Meanwhile, Dell Computer Corp. has stopped making its Microsoft Windows-based webPC, which entered the market early this year priced around $1,000 with a faster processor than the NIC's, plus a monitor and printer.

Compaq Computer Corp. continues to offer its $499 iPaq Internet Device with components similar to those of the NIC, except for the Windows 2000 OS. Compaq also makes the T1510 thin client with components and Linux software similar to the NIC. Hewlett-Packard Co. continues to sell its e-Vectra e-PC, starting at $549, and IBM Corp. is still expanding its NetVista line, priced from $775.

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