The NC Party Sizzle or Fizzle?

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From the Editor's Desk Trish Williams

The NC Party Sizzle or Fizzle?

All the commotion in the network computer space these days might make one wonder what all the fuss is about anyway. In a nutshell, we're talking about money to be made, markets to be managed and advantages to be gained.

Clearly the stakes are high for partnerships of yesteryear to be dissolving overnight, and companies of every ilk scrambling for new partners to push their latest NC vision.

And there are oh so many visions.

Senior technology writer John Makulowich takes a look at the proliferating partnerships and visions and the marketplace maneuverings of large and small players alike, in a front-page article bound to get your attention.

Don't miss IBM's swipe at Sun Microsystems and Oracle as it lines up to win a major share of this market. Big Blue is distancing itself from Sun and Oracle, taking Microsoft Corp. head on and cutting deals with Intel.

Intel Corp. is weighing in with its own category of Slim Jim computing, the so-called Lean Client Guidelines, in a deal with IBM.

For its part, Sun wants the clock to start ticking now, asserting that today should be the starting point for the era of its Java O/S thin client, reports Makulowich.

Then there's Microsoft Corp. with its Windows-based terminal and a new product, Windows Terminal Server, formerly code-named Hydra. It adds Unix like multi-user support for the terminal to the Windows NT Server 4.0 operating system.

Oracle Corp.'s vision of network computing moves the applications' complexity from the desktop to the network, where it can be professionally managed. This essentially places all the complicated logic in the network.

Against this backdrop are the lesser known players that have been wrestling in this arena for many years as original equipment manufacturers for the major competitors and successful software upstarts with names like Network Computing Devices, Tektronix and Citrix Systems.

Like much else in IT these days, there's enough qualifications here to confuse just about every customer in the market for these devices.

Watch this space, it's bound to heat up even more.

P.S. One reader wanted to know if my reference in the last issue to indefinite delivery-indefinite quality contracts was a Freudian slip. You be the judge.

Copyright 1998 Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved


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