Sun boss preaches NC gospel

Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy flew into London today to spell out how the PC will be challenged by a new generation of network computers (NCs).

Sun's vision claims that NC hardware will be future-proof, since data and applications will no longer be stored on local hard drives. Java-based thin clients will replace software operating systems, and small, fast Java processors will replace today's x86 chips. NCs will also be more secure and far easier to administer, McNealy said.

McNealy insisted that the Java programming language will continue to be available free to software developers. "We're going to treat Java like English," he said. "We will make money doing things in Java, not on Java," he added, in a clear dig at Microsoft's implementation of Java in its J++ package.

"[The PC model is] giving everybody a CD and a floppy, allowing everybody to load a virus onto the network. These are useless concepts; legacy concepts which are going to go away in a lot of places. I'm not claiming the end of the PC. That environment will still exist. Mainframes, minicomputers, workstations, PCs, dumb terminals will still exist, but we have an alternative here with the zero-administration client."

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