network computer

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Related to network computer: personal computer, Mini Computer

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 ?
Gates accuses the champions of the network computer, led by McNealy and Larry Ellison of Oracle, of trying to portray ``PCs as evil'' as a marketing gimmick in an effort to sell their own products.
Because it is basically a turnkey solution, NCI is making it easy to pilot the concept of Network Computers without having to deal with the fuss of designing a test bed or trial network for that purpose.
Each has since built leadership positions in their respective spheres, Navio for consumer Internet appliances and NCI for network computers in the corporate and set-top box market.
The framework resides on the network computer and will function with a variety of smart card drivers required in applications, such as electronic commerce.
One example of how our business network computers are deployed is with a well known, California-based bank," said Lee Rainey, manager of product marketing for Tektronix.
for network computers in Europe, Middle East and Africa almost
NCI's partners have committed to produce the network computer for both the consumer and corporate market, in a number of different "form factors.
California Federal made the decision to contract with an outside company for the maintenance and repair of their critical network computer information systems because of their prior relationship with Rancho Santa Fe Technology.
As a strong supporter of the network computer strategy first articulated by Larry Ellison of Oracle in September 1995, Wind River is extremely happy to have been selected by the NCI engineering staff to play such a pivotal role in its flagship network computer system," said Ron Abelmann, president and CEO of Wind River Systems.
Kertzman opened the teleconference with the announcement that Network Computer had changed its corporate name to Liberate Technologies, a name meant to resonate with the choice network operators have in building services and content without regard to proprietary technology.
M - news) -- Esker -- Flytech Technology -- IGC -- JM Computers -- Lakeside Software -- MaxSpeed -- Neoware; (Neoware Systems Nasdaq: NWRE - news) -- Netier -- Network Computer Inc (NCI) -- Network Computing Devices (NCD);
GlobeID Software, a leading provider of advanced Internet payment solutions announces today, the availability of its @dvanced Payment(TM) Ultra-Thin Client Solution for wireless device, set-top box and network computer service providers.

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