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Oracle's "internet terminal"

The recent issue of _Computer Reseller News_ has a couple of items on the
"internet terminal" being readied by Oracle. I'll quote a couple of
crypto-relevant excerpts:

1. Interview with Larry Ellison (Oracle Corp's Chairman/CEO)

Q. How far along are you in the development of the $500 Internet Network

A. We'll be delivering the prototype machines this year with full production in
the third quarter next year.


Q. Will you release Application Programing Interfaces for the Oracle browser
and server?

A. We will use industry-standard APIs that are accepted by everybody, not
Microsoft-proposed APIs.


Q. What differentiates the Oracle Web products from competitive offerings in
terms of pricing and technology?

A. There will be standard Web payment schemes. We'll use them, as will
everybody else. We won't differentiate ourselves on basic payment schemes. The
thing that will differentiate us is security protocols, the ability to use text
processing, database processing, video processing, our video server technology
and our powerful client.

2. Ellison's field of dreams - $500 PC (by Ken Yamada)

... Oracle's chairman and chief executive, Lawrence Ellison, previewing his
latest futuristic vision at a trade show last month in Geneva, said Oracle is
developing the computer and that it will be shown early next year. The desktop
version of the new system, called a "network computer" and referred to as an
"NC" rather than a PC, is expected to sell for about $500 and will use Internet
servers to do the bulk of its computing. Basic hardware will include an
inexpensive microprocessor, a small amount of memory, a monitor and a keyboard,
but the device will lack storage and software. [I guess, they mean no permanent
storage or software other than the browser in ROM. No remembered state, no
viruses... -DV]

... The Redwood Shores, Calif., company is developing the computer's operating
system and technical design, but the unit will be produces by hardware
manufacturers, said Farzad Dibachi, an Oracle senior vice president. While
Dibachi would not name specific manufacturers, he explained that Oracle's
participation in the device's technical development was similar to the role it
played in developing a digital television set-top box with Apple Computer,
which produced the box's hardware. ... Oracle plans to sell software that turns
World Wide Web sites essentially into central processing units for the new
computers. ...

"If computing is to go to the masses and we're doing electronic commerce," said
Dibachi in a telephone interview from Geneva, "you have to have devices that
are simpler."

Oracle's Laursen said he expectes that eventually many different companies will
manufacture the devices, which he described as an entire line of products
encompassing two-way pagers, intelligent telephones, mobile computers, desktop
systems and television set-top boxes. Each of these devices would rely on the
Internet to do its core processing work. He said he expected Oracle to develop
as many as 50 working prototypes by early next year.

... Oracle also plans to leverage its wireless communications software products
and give some of the devices wireless capabilities. "We're still trying to
figure out what processor to put in," Laursen said. Under consideration are
chips from Mips Technologies and Motorola Inc.


<a href="mailto:[email protected]">Dr. Dimitri Vulis</a>
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps