SF Gate: Upstarts set to launch cheap, simple Internet PCs that bypass Microsoft monopoly

“Bill Gates may not be quaking in his boots just yet, but a new
generation of personal computers without Windows will soon begin
tempting consumers looking for a cheap, simple and reliable way to
join the Internet revolution.”

“PC-makers are turning to alternatives old and new to control
their computers’ basic operations and create their look and feel.
By Christmas, shoppers in the market for a cheap PC will be able to
choose among products that run the BeOS, a modern
multimedia-oriented system developed by Menlo Park’s Be Inc.;
Linux, the cooperatively developed, freely distributed operating
system that’s recently made a splash in corporate and technical
markets; and even a new version of GEOS, a decade-old graphical
software environment that appeared to have succumbed to the Windows
tide years ago.”

“The bottom line, of course, is economics. Windows is the one
component of standard PCs that hasn’t plummeted in price in recent

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