"Internet service provider Prodigy Communications plans
to start selling a $199 Web-surfing appliance from the New Internet
Computer Co., according to a source familiar with the deal.
Under the terms of the deal, expected to be announced in coming
days, Prodigy will sell the Linux-based Web device, known as NIC,
offering those who buy the device three months of Internet service
for the price of one. Prodigy is in the process of being acquired
by telephone company SBC Communications.
The 20-person NIC Co., which is majority owned by Oracle Chief
Executive Larry Ellison, projects profitability by next month, in
part because it has so few employees and spends little marketing
its devices to consumers. The company has focused on deals with
institutions such as hotel chains."