Big Blue has had a formal relationship with Intel since October 1996 to develop network management PC technologies and is now stepping up its efforts. "We want to share technologies for industry standards but we want to be the first to market with them," said Karl LaWall, program director of client systems. "At some point you have to push the bubble and go beyond what other people could do. I don't care whether it's NC, Net PC or whatever... our job is to solve customer problems."
LaWall cited IBM's Wake On LAN project for performing maintenance upgrades on network-connected systems as an example of technology that had moved into the mainstream. Also, LaWall said, IBM helped Intel on the design of the NLX motherboard and Pentium II cradle.
LaWall added that IBM is in the best psoition of all vendors to benefit from the interest in networked PCs. "The comments we get from customers is they were advised to take the client-server boat five years ago and it's turned out to be the Titanic. [The switch to NCs and Net PCs means that] IBM is absolutely in the position to deliver and garner market share."