Network computers fail to sell

Network computers fail to sell
Tom Foremski
Despite massive marketing hype, sales of network computers (NCs) in 1997 fell below expectations, with just 144,040 units shipped according to US market research firm Dataquest.
Shipments this year are expected to more than triple to 482,196 units but Dataquest says that this is still a tiny amount compared with about 90 million PCs that will be shipped, and it doesn’t expect NCs to be a significant market this decade. The obstacle to further market penetration is cheap PCs and thin-client solutions offered by Microsoft and others.
“As it is becoming increasingly clear, the NC may have a place in the industry, but Microsoft’s Windows terminal and NetPC strategies provide cost effective and attractive alternatives through the low costs inherent in PC hardware and the ability to run Windows applications,” said Kimball Brown, senior analyst at Dataquest.
Brown said that although the NC has not been successful, the concepts behind NCs, the idea of centrally managed computers connected on a network, is succeeding as corporations try to reduce their IT costs.


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