Ellison: Linux-powered Net PC coming

It's cheap, it runs Linux... er, but it's a Larry Ellison project

Even though it took its fair share of licks the first time around, Oracle is jumping back in the ring with yet another network-computer offering. Speaking on Wednesday at San Francisco's CRM Expo, Oracle boss Larry Ellison said the new $199 (£121) PCs will be available "shortly."

The new network-computer manufacturer, which, according to Ellison, will adopt the discarded Network Computer moniker, will unveil Intel-powered machines running the Linux operating system and Netscape Navigator. "This is a desktop computer replacement," said Ellison, who maintains that today's PCs remain far too complicated and buggy.

Ellison did not delve into specifics about the level of Oracle's involvement in the venture. Company officials were not available for comment at press time.

Ellison did not set a firm date for the new network computer launch.