While Compaq was last week dismissing the NC as a computer that had "failed" and claiming that the "NC camp is on the back foot", IBM was boiling up at what it saw as a selective and downright incorrect piece of research.
"It's one of the most confused pieces of research I've seen in some time," said Pete Jakob, marketing manager for the Network Station NC line at IBM. "It makes the point that what people like in the NC is the management control but what they don't like is the lack of flexibility to run applications. By extrapolating, you could say that if it ran Windows apps the NC would be the perfect computer. It may have escaped their attention that you can run Windows applications on an NC."
Jakob said that by using NCD's WinCenter server software, NCs can run Windows applications happily.
"They just don't seem to have understood, and most of the rest falls down the plug hole there. Whoever wrote it clearly doesn't understand the NC. There are some real howlers in there and it flies in the face of Gartner research that says 40 per cent of corporations will have NCs by 1999 and 60 per cent by 2000. They've made the assumptions that NCs are primarily about Java, you need to develop software especially for them, and nobody's buying them."
IBM recently announced that recent customers for its Network Station NC line include Best Western Hotels and the US Navy.