Not convinced the public will buy a $500 NC.

I Find Karma (
Tue, 21 Jan 97 03:00:32 PST

Why does it seem to me that there isn't as big a market for Network
Computers as Compaq (and others) think there is? Has anyone actually
sat down and thought through the details and determined what niche thin
client machines would fill? Just because they build it, doesn't mean
anyone will come.

fwdd from Educom:
> Compaq Computer, not content to rest on its laurels, is planning a new
> line of network computers, designed as e-mail, Internet and
> terminal-replacement devices, which the company plans to bundle with
> its PC servers. The systems will include a separate monitor, a thin
> chassis and a keyboard, and will be priced in the $500 to $800 range.
> The company also plans to introduce a NetPC this year -- a low-cost,
> easy-to-use networked PC built to standards devised by Intel and
> Microsoft. "We believe there is a market for these devices and that
> our customers want them, and we'll deliver them to the market," says a
> Compaq VP. (Information Week 13 Jan 97 p24)
> Some of the enthusiasm for the network computer concept has been
> generated by companies hoping to save money by eliminating some of the
> widely publicized costs associated with maintaining a PC. A Gartner
> Group study last year estimated that a networked PC costs a business
> an average of $13,200 a year -- 21% is the cost of the PC and the
> portion of the network it consumes; 36% is the cost of administering
> it; and 43% is the cost of "end-user operations" -- employee
> tinkering, game playing, etc. However, purchasing network computers
> will not save the entire $13,200 -- the cost of the network and the
> server that can support all the needs of network computers will be far
> higher than those required for PCs, which basically wipes out that
> savings. The cost of administering the system will indeed be far
> lower, but there will be an additional cost involved in the
> introduction of NCs. And the cost of lost employee productivity is
> perhaps most difficult to measure -- indeed, if the employee is hooked
> directly to the Internet, instead of playing Solitaire, even more
> company time might be wasted. (The Economist 18 Jan 97)


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