InfoWorld: Comdex to see a spate of PC alternatives

“The era of the one-size-fits-all PC appears to be coming to an
end, and attendees at this year’s Comdex trade show will see some
of the results of that trend. Compaq Computer… is holding an
invitation-only ‘ShowStoppers’ press event on Nov. 15, at which it
will unveil an Internet appliance. … The low-cost appliance will
include a Web browser and e-mail capabilities.”

According to Cambridge, Mass.-based market research company Giga
Information Group, Internet-based appliance sales will outstrip
those of personal computers by 2002.
And, the move to these
devices will not be limited to the consumer market. ‘The business
market wants low-maintenance devices. Appliances can get close to
this profile,’ said Rob Enderle, a senior analyst at the Giga
Information Group…”

“Compaq will soon be joined by Hewlett-Packard and NEC. NEC will
be privately showing an Internet appliance at Comdex. … IBM is
also pursuing an appliance strategy, selling its recently acquired
InterJet 2 thin server for messaging and Web access as part of a
$99 monthly service. InterJet 2 runs FreeBDS [sic]… Boca
Research… will also show a non-Windows appliance at Comdex. The
BocVision JNC205 Java Network Terminal will use an embedded version
of Linux, and the appliance will support the Citrix independent
computing architecture protocol.”

“According to Enderle, desktop appliances lessen the importance
of the operating system. ‘Appliances will be based on browsers,
and it’s the service you care about,’
Enderle said. ‘The
OS is no longer important.’ “

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