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E-Commerce Times: And E-Commerce for All? [Oracle's Linux-based NC]

May 12, 2000, 00:43 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Keith Regan)

"Every computer maker great and small seems to have contemplated the same holy grail: To make an inexpensive machine that will connect users to the Internet and allow them to send and receive e-mail. That's it. No complex, breakdown-prone hard drives, no bundled software to choose. Just a machine for getting connected. "

"The latest high profile figure to bet on the concept is Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison, who announced the formation of The New Internet Computer Company this week. The firm will sell $199 (US$) machines -- sans monitor -- that run on the Linux operating system and do little more than surf the Web and process e-mail."

"Ellison's gambit has been tried before, with limited success. So is is there any reason to believe that his venture will be any different? Those involved think so. Gina Smith, a former journalist who is now CEO of Ellison's company, admitted to a press conference that the profit margin for each machine will be small. However, she added, "We're going to sell a gazillion of them."

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