"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
"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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