IBM says NC sales potential is for real

IBM claims it shipped 10,000 NCs as pilots to large organisations by the end of March.

The figure shows the huge scope of the devices, contrary to the opinions of the Wintel faction backing the Net PC model, according to David McAughtry, European general manager for IBM's NC division.

Speaking last week at the Networks '97 show in Birmingham, McAughtry, formerly charged with OEM business at IBM, says the sales of Big Blue's 'Network Station' NCs shows that there is room for all the technologies. "The place for the NC is where the Net meets IT infrastructure," he said. "The question I keep asking myself is why didn't this happen three years ago. 40 million people have an IP stack which is just mind-blowing, and the navigation method is standard. The opportunity is not a niche, it's huge."

McAughtry added that IBM intends to take an open position on network clients. "It's not NC versus PC versus Net PC. We'll make all of them. I'm not saying: here are three options, take your pick. I'm saying: here are three directions depending on your environment."