Oracle's NCI Introduces NC Software Suite for both NC Desktop™ and NC Server Machines
NC Server™ OS runs on Low Cost PC Hardware
TOKYO/REDWOOD SHORES. Calif., April 16,1997 - Today, at Oracle Open World Japan, Network Computer Incorporated (NCI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle Corporation, announced the availability of the first complete suite of software for Network Computers (NCs). The NC Desktop™ software includes a desktop operating system, Netscape Navigator and Java virtual machine, and features a very cool multimedia Video User Interface (VUI), pronounced 'view-ee'. The NC Server™ software supports a high-performance operating system, the Oracle universal database, a mature application development environment, plus thousands of applications from electronic mail and word processing to general ledger and inventory management. The NC Card™ smart card software allows secure and reliable communication and commerce across the Internet.
Because NC Desktop™ and NC Server™ software runs on standard Intel PC hardware every manufacturer who currently makes PCs, such as Compaq, can effortlessly make NC desktop and server machines. In addition, low cost NC desktop appliances using the Digital StrongARM microprocessor are being manufactured by a number of consumer appliance companies such as Japan's leading VCR manufacturer, Funai Electric.
"NCI's goal is to put a low cost, easy-to-use network into a box," said Jerry Baker, NCI CEO. "By simply plugging NC desktops and NC Servers together, a fifth grade teacher can install a classroom network in about 30 minutes. If the NC is low enough in cost and easy enough to use for the fifth grade, think about how much money and time it will save in business."
NC Desktop™ , the world's first completely HTML and Java-enabled desktop, provides the multimedia software to support a new generation of web-enabled application software. The new desktop provides a full range of standard desktop productivity tools - electronic mail, personal calendar, address book, text editor, Netscape Navigator, file manager, and news feed ticker. NC Desktop™ software can be stored on the network or in read only memory (ROM) on the network computer. All software updates are automatically downloaded from the server and installed without user intervention.
HTML and JAVA. NC Desktop™ automatically renders all text into standard HTML so information can be exchanged and displayed in a standard format. Incorporating support for any industry-standard Java application, the NC Desktop™ includes a state-of-the-art Java virtual machine that allows fast execution of Java applications and a Just In Time (JIT) compiler which will be available in the summer.
The software includes full multimedia support including Quicktime, Real Audio, MPEG, AVI and others to provide instant access to Web content. Streaming video support will also be available for Ethernet-based devices through the Oracle Video Server with modem support in the future.
NC Desktop™ features the NC Connect option which provide emulation capabilities for Windows as well as 3270, 5250 and VT 220 terminals to run existing PC and mainframe applications. NC Connect also features a redeployment tool that will automatically convert terminal applications to Java-based applications.
Portable across multiple chip architectures, NC Desktop™ allows NCI's manufacturing partners to build a variety of devices incorporating ARM, Intel and StrongARM microprocessors, as well as other chip sets in the future.
NC Desktop™ offers support for English and Kanji today, and will be available for a wide variety of languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Portuguese and simplified as well as traditional Chinese.
NC Server™ is the first affordable, turnkey server software for schools, local governments, small businesses and corporations. The NC Server™ consists of NCOS, NCI's low-cost and robust operating system, the NC Services for enabling and administering network computers, and NC Applications, a set of fully functional server-based software with Java and HTML support. Server hardware manufacturers such as NEC will offer NCI's NC Server™ software with its industry standard, Intel-based server hardware.
The NC Server™ is designed to support the Network Computing Architecture (NCA) providing a highly extensible, standards based application development platform. Through NCA, customers can reduce their cost of ownership by building modular, reusable and extensible plug-ins or cartridges on 3-tiers -- the client, the application server and the data server. (see attached slides: Addendum 1 and Addendum 2) With NC Services and NC Applications, customers can leverage existing network infrastructures to deploy applications and manage individual network computers.
NC Services Initialization
NC Server™ enables quick network connectivity through a standards based initialization service that maintains all system information for each network computer.
Through authentication, authorization and registration, users will have personalized access with their NC Card™ to data and applications on the network.
NC Server™ manages all user data and files stored on the network. Additionally, NC Server™ includes system management tools to manage all components on the server and configure individual NC Cards.
Key web-enabled software are available with the NC Server™ .
Oracle Interoffice and Composer
A scaleable messaging solution based on the Oracle7 Server, provides electronic mail, document management, and an enterprise class calendar and scheduler. Composer is a new Java-based personal productivity application including a lightweight, unified word processing and presentation graphics applet.
Oracle Web Application Server
The Oracle Web Application Server is a transactional Internet server that enables the deployment of high-performance, scaleable and robust applications over any HTTP server through the use of cartridges as supported through Oracle's Network Computing Architecture.
Oracle Video Server
The Oracle Video Server provides streaming real time audio and video to the NC Desktop™ over any network including 28.8 modems to high-speed broadband networks. The Oracle Video Server is the key technology that provides the Video User Interface (VUI) for the NC Desktop™ .
Any Java or HTML based application can also be deployed on network computers from the NC Server™ . In addition the 10s of thousands of corporate applications built with Oracle Forms today can be redeployed easily using Oracle's Designer/2000 and Developer/2000 for the Web.
NC Card™ is a industry standard ISO7816 smart card that provides users secure, personalized access to data and applications located on the network. After turning on the network computer, a user inserts their personal NC Card™ and enter their PIN. Once authorized, the user's desktop is displayed providing access to all applications, information and services from the network.
Today the NC Card™ permits roaming within local area networks (LAN) and dialup to servers on those LANs, allowing individuals to use the same card at home or in the office. In the future, the NC Card™ will support inter-network roaming, allowing individuals to use the NC Card™ from any network computer -- anywhere in the world. In addition, future versions of the card will support Digital cash transactions to facilitate electronic commerce.
Recently, NCI announced that it will support, along with IBM, Netscape and Sun Microsystems, a framework of open smart card standards that enable access to personalized data and services from network computers supported by these companies.
Pricing and Availability
NC Desktop™ , NC Server™ , and NC Card™ will ship in limited quantities in May, and in volume by summer. Pricing for NC Desktop™ , NC Server™ , and NC Card™ will start at $745 for a 5 user server with additional users available at $149 per named user.
NCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corp., develops, licenses and markets all software, technology and support services for the NC including NC Access, NC Server™ and NC Card™. With strategic alliances worldwide, NCI's mission is to bring network computing to the corporate, consumer and educational marketplaces. NCI's World Wide Web address is http://www.nc.com. For more information about NCI, please call 415/631-4600.
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NC Server™ , NC Access and NC are registered trademarks of Network Computer Inc. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. All other products or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners.