NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

SUN AND ORACLE UNVEIL THE FIRST NCS, WHILE MICROSOFT AND INTEL MOVE TO HEAD THEM OFF

For more than a year, two of Silicon Valley's most outspoken maverick CEOs--Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems and Larry Ellison of Oracle--have been promising to turn the PC industry on its ear with a revolutionary machine they call the network computer, or NC. This stripped-down, easy-to-use communications device would cost less than $500, plug seamlessly into all kinds of computer networks and lure millions of technophobic home users onto the Internet. Best of all, as far as McNealy and Ellison are concerned, it would be based on a new programming language, Java, that promises to make obsolete today's overstuffed computer operating...

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