Dana Gardner writes that now’s the time for the network computer.
I don’t care about the hardware, as long as it’s x86 and wirelessly networked. I’d like to see it come standard with 60BG of disk space, and 2GB of memory, and lots of USB 2 slots. Operating system can be Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, I don’t care as long as it runs a speedy JVM and has some stock reader applications for accessing and playing most document and media formats. I’m thinking of the Apple Mini or equivalent in about a year, that sort of thing. Under $500 loaded. Maybe $900 for the notebook version.
But what I’d really like to see as soon as possible is the next-generation thin-client, catch-all software application to run on this hardware, and Oracle is just the company to produce it. Yep, Oracle. After all, Larry Ellison was a driving force behind the network computer concept going on eight years ago (or more). And now that Oracle is number two in business apps, and by no means as cozy with (or dependent on) Microsoft as SAP, it’s time for Larry to hammer this puppy home. How about a thin front-end for those business apps that has nothing to do with Microsoft, eh, Larry? That was the dream, right? Just build the best business and data-viewer browser software now, give it away, and outsource the hardware to Apple.