Vendors poised to push NetPCs

Compaq will lift the lid on its desktop strategy next week and unveil its NetPC product. The company claims that it will "hit back" at Oracle and Sun in the Network Computer camp, with a product that "renders the NC outmoded.

Compaq will lift the lid on its desktop strategy next week and unveil its NetPC product. The company claims that it will "hit back" at Oracle and Sun in the Network Computer camp, with a product that "renders the NC outmoded."

Other companies are set to join Compaq next week in announcing NetPC products. Mitsubishi and Siemens-Nixdorf will both exhibit their NetPCs at PC Expo in New York, where Dell is due to announce its pseudo-NetPC, the Managed PC. Hewlett-Packard and IBM will also show NetPCs. Toshiba is expected to enter the fray next year.

Mitubishi's showing in the US is a novelty; the company currently sells PCs in just Europe and Japan. Speculation has been rife that the company's UK subsidiary, which designed and built its NetPC, will attack the US market with the NetPC.

International marketing director James Blackledge said that its NetPC is expected to account for 15 per cent of the company's desktop business sales. "As Apricot, we launched a NetPC-style machine in 1986 and again in 1990 with the pizza box size LanStation. We have experience in this area and feel we can make a success of it. It won't appeal to everyone but large corporates are interested."

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