network computer

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network computer

(1) Any computer in the network.

(2) A platform for personal computers introduced in 1996 that never caught on. However, the concept was valid and has subsequently been embodied in Web-based applications. In 2011, Google introduced a 21st century replica of the network computer (see Chromebook).

The network computer (NC) was a "thin client" that downloaded all applications and data from the network and stored updated data back on the server. NCs were touted as "the" way to reduce costs due to centralized administration and lower-priced workstations. Its major proponents were Sun and Oracle, and Oracle subsidiary Network Computer Inc. licensed the specification for building compliant machines (see NCRP and Liberate).

Java-Based Machines
NCs ran stand-alone Java applications as well as Java applets from a browser. Several NCs were developed, running a compact operating system that was booted from the server along with the Java Virtual Machine (Java interpreter). Using Citrix software, NCs could also function like dumb terminals connected to a Windows NT or 2000 server.

What Happened?
Hyped as the death knell for Windows PCs, the price of PC hardware was dropping exponentially, and the cost difference between NCs and PCs quickly became negligible. In addition, Windows was heavily entrenched, and a new platform was not appealing to corporate IT managers. See thin client.


Not Making Inroads
After two years, the network computer was not making an impact; witness this 1998 column from the Philadelphia Inquirer. (Article headline courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.)







Sun JavaStation NC
Sun was one of the first to introduce a network computer. (Image courtesy of Sun Microsystems, Inc.)







IBM Network Station
IBM's network computer provided both Web and mainframe connectivity. (Image courtesy of IBM.)







Wyse Winterm
Wyse offered a combo network computer and Windows terminal (see Winterm). (Image courtesy of Wyse Technology.)







References in periodicals archive ?
Highlights (unaudited) (in $000's, except subscriber, churn and ARPU data) 3 Months Ended 12 Months Ended December 31, December 31, 2002 2001 2002 2001 Total Revenues $ 59,953 $ 44,075 $ 216,038 $ 123,304 EBITDA(a) $(17,792) $(22,495) $ (64,531) $ (69,461) Net Loss to Common $(60,253) $(40,811) $(188,704) $(124,412) Capital Expenditures $ 5,462 $ 26,223 $ 63,083 $ 116,574 Ending PCS Subscribers 270,900 194,100 270,900 194,100 Net PCS Subscriber Adds 29,000 47,500 76,800 127,700 PCS Churn 3.
Third Quarter Highlights 3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended September 30, September 30, (in $000's) 2002 2001 2002 2001 Total Revenues $ 56,061 $ 35,204 $ 156,085 $ 79,229 EBITDA(a) $(15,679) $(17,935) $ (46,739) $(46,967) Net Loss $(43,318) $(31,503) $(128,451) $(83,601) Capital Expenditures $ 8,508 $ 24,331 $ 57,621 $ 90,351 Ending PCS Subscribers 241,900 146,600 241,900 146,600 Net PCS Subscriber Adds 6,800 40,300 47,800 80,200 PCS Churn 3.
SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS: 3 months ended 6 months ended 6/30 6/30 2002 2001 2002 2001 Total Revenues($000) $144,412 $ 58,681 $236,482 $106,574 EBITDA(a) 2,756 1,131 (652) (10,351) Net Income (49,746) (17,813) (78,107) (50,400) Capital Expenditures 23,944 33,428 63,202 55,072 Ending PCS Subscribers 539,054 200,859 539,054 200,859 Net PCS Sub.
Second Quarter Highlights 3 Months Ended 6 Months Ended June 30, June 30, (in $000's) 2002 2001 2002 2001 Total Revenues $ 51,814 $ 24,771 $100,024 $ 44,025 EBITDA(a) ($ 14,717) ($ 16,429) ($ 31,060) ($ 29,032) Net Loss ($ 42,670) ($ 27,286) ($ 79,420) ($ 46,744) Capital Expenditures $ 25,675 $ 33,966 $ 49,113 $ 66,019 Ending PCS Subscribers 235,100 106,300 235,100 106,300 Net PCS Subscriber Adds 12,400 21,600 41,000 39,900 PCS Churn 3.
3 Months Ended March 31, (in $000's) 2002 2001 Total Revenues $48,210 $19,254 EBITDA (a) ($16,343) ($12,603) EBITDAM $ 909 ($ 4,393) Net Loss ($36,750) ($19,459) Ending PCS Subscribers 222,700 84,681 Net PCS Subscriber Adds 28,600 18,234 PCS Churn 3.
FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS: 3 months ended 3/31 ($000) 2002 2001 Total Revenues $ 92,070 $ 47,893 EBITDA (3,408) (11,483) Net Income (28,361) (32,587) Capital Expenditures 39,258 21,644 Ending PCS Subscribers 350,296 172,429 Net PCS Subscriber Additions 32,135 46,423 Postpay PCS Churn 3.
FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS: 3 months ended 12 months ended 12/31 12/31 2001 2000 2001 2000 Total Revenues ($000) $ 81,242 $ 35,885 $259,174 $113,052 EBITDA (3,731) (16,398) (12,641) (29,135) Net Income (25,566) (25,837) (97,611) (70,246) Capital Expenditures 26,152 56,469 106,501 158,886 Ending PCS Subscribers 277,036 126,006 277,036 126,006 Net PCS Sub.
Fourth Quarter Highlights 3 Months Ended 12 Months Ended December 31, December 31, (in $000's) 2001 2000 2001 2000 Total Revenues $44,805 $12,922 $123,304 $29,193 EBITDA ($22,495) ($16,874) ($69,461) ($38,536) Net Loss ($40,811) ($23,647) ($124,412) ($43,327) Capital Expenditures $26,224 $33,820 $116,574 $83,630 Ending PCS Subscribers 194,135 66,447 194,135 66,447 Net PCS Subscriber Adds 47,494 30,440 127,688 52,698 PCS Churn 3.
Third Quarter Highlights 3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended September 30, September 30, (in $000's) 2001 2000 2001 2000 Total Revenues $35,204 $ 7,442 $79,229 $16,384 EBITDA ($17,935) ($10,319) ($46,967) ($21,663) Net Loss $31,503 $17,862 $83,601 $19,679 Capital Expenditures $24,331 $40,002 $90,351 $49,810 Ending PCS Subscribers 146,641 36,007 146,641 36,007 Net PCS Subscriber Adds 40,373 9,027 80,194 22,258 PCS Churn 2.
THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS: 3 months ended 9 months ended 9/30 9/30 2001 2000 2001 2000 Total Revenues ($000) $ 71,358 $ 29,299 $177,932 $ 77,167 EBITDA 1,442 (4,993) (8,910) (12,738) Net Income (loss) (21,645) (22,099) (72,045) (49,409) Capital Expenditures 25,623 39,884 80,347 102,417 Ending PCS Subscribers 235,966 91,097 235,966 91,097 Net PCS Sub.
SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS: 3 months ended 6 months ended 6/30 6/30 2001 2000 2001 2000 Total Revenues ($000) $58,681 $25,577 $106,574 $47,868 EBITDA 1,131 (2,998) (10,351) (7,745) Net Income (17,813) (7,869) (50,400) (27,310) Capital Expenditures 33,330 46,663 54,724 62,533 Ending PCS Subscribers 200,859 76,523 200,859 76,523 Net PCS Sub.
Nasdaq/NM:UNWR), a Sprint PCS (NYSE:PCS) Network Partner, today reported record quarterly PCS net subscriber additions of 46,423, topping net PCS additions posted in the fourth quarter of 2000 by 33%.