Some more comments by Anand Patwardhan, regarding the market-side of Emergic:
I think it will be important for us to devise unique approaches for different segments of the market. The segments will be important not only for the software design & productization but also for distribution, channel management and the underlying business model. One primary reason for this is the dependence of the TC – TS model on network availability & performance. This factor will pose constraints on the TC design, and therefore on the overall system itself.
For example, I think that in the home segment, we will have to provide some limited application functionality on the TC, because we cannot assume guaranteed network availability & performance. Question is, do we need a HDD, or can we fit the limited applications in DiskOnChip, so that we can go with a simple single board design?
One important segment for us (low-hanging fruit) is hotels. Today, most “business” hotels offer some form of Internet access. It starts from a business center with dial-up access, to a RAS in the hotel (dialup from room), to wireless ethernet, and finally as I saw in Seoul, a dedicated PC in the room with wired ethernet. Hotels are just the kind of controlled environment where we can get our TC-TS environment set up, and ideal for brand-building. We probably have all the pieces already to offer the product – maybe a bit of work to integrate with the hotels billing system (for authentication and for generating a bill for usage).
Another important segment is business centers or cybercafes. In general, my suspicion is that anywhere we have shared Internet access, our solution is ideal – first, there is no element of personalization, people do not expect to have their applications and data available to them. Second, the functionality people expect from the client is limited (because they are
doing a limited set of tasks). Third, having a TS enables much more efficient use of network bandwidth, because you can do local caching and proxy. In a sense, the most difficult segment for us would be one where an individual uses a single PC in a stand-alone fashion (which is really the home).