Compaq has slated the Network Computer (NC) for not reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) but for actually adding to the overall costs on the network and server. The accusation was made as Oracle chief Larry Ellison reaffirmed his intentions to retain and push the NC, despite weak financials and drop in share price.
Citing research from the Gartner Group which showed that the NetPC had an annual TCO of $6,469 compared to the NC's TCO of $6,547 Compaq's senior desktop manager James Griffiths said that "the reality is that there are pros and cons to the NC" and the "lack of Java applications compared to the 10,000 Windows applications available is clearly one of the major drawbacks."
Ellison illustrated his commitment to the NC by outlining an Mac OS-based NC which he described as "inexpensive." His decision to put his weight behind the NC has been supported by IBM which also claims that its Network Stations will see "rapid growth" this year.
Griffiths was not impressed. He quoted Compaq research figures which showed that 70 per cent of a sample 384 IT managers see "no role for the NC as a PC replacement" and 87 per cent claim that the key to lower cost of PC ownership is "management not new technology."
Griffiths added that 62 per cent of the sample believed that the rewriting of existing applications is the biggest cost associated with implementing NCs. It is this view that has lead Compaq to claim that IT managers "are not prepared to take a gamble on the NC," said Griffiths, and that they have wholeheartedly "rejected the NC."