Entry-level NetPCs are being touted at around $1,000 with major selling points being the ability to remotely configure and manage the PC across a network and a sealed case inhibits user modification. There are no ISA slots, therefore ensuring all hardware devices can be recognised and managed by software. NetPCs can be set to be automatically updated in off-peak hours.
The NetPC will play a key role in Intel's 1997 product strategy, alongside the transition towards the Pentium II chip (codenamed Klamath) and away from the Pentium Pro and non-MMX Pentium chips, according to Pat Gelsinger, Intel's vice president of desktop products.
While Gelsinger used the platform to give the Pentium II its first public showing, he also reiterated that the NetPC design specification is not competing with the Oracle-led Network Computer. "We are not creating a new computing paradigm," he said. "We are creating a design which will help save costs."
Jim Allchin, Microsoft's senior vice president of the personal and business systems group, said that the NetPC "delivers compatibility with today's standard PC and network infrastructure ... we expect many of the innovative NetPC features to find their way into other PC product lines."