IBM to sell Net PC with free slots

Adding a further layer of obfuscation to an already foggy issue, IBM has confirmed it will not market a Net PC but will release a sealed case PC.

Although IBM this summer showed a Net PC prototype to press and even exhibited models at the PC Expo show in New York, it said it canned the project on the basis of customer feedback.

"Our customers want the management capabilities the Net PC provides but not the restrictive specification and especially not the lack of expansion capabilities," said Mike Lunch, IBM PC Company UK managing director.

Lunch added that Compaq's Net PCs, released in the UK yesterday, actually cost more than similarly equipped full PCs. IBM said that because of the expenses of creating new designs, it had also calculated that Net PCs would be more expensive to make than orthodox PCs.

Instead, Lunch said IBM will in October release a sealed case version of its PC 300GL desktop PC without a floppy drive but with free slots so that IT managers can upgrade cards.

Even more confusingly, that system will conform to the Net PC specification.

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