Worldwide shipments of network computers (NCs) were below expectations last year and will likely be sluggish until 2001, Dataquest said yesterday.
In 1997, 144,040 NCs were shipped, and 482,196 are expected to ship this year worldwide, according to Dataquest.
The NC market has not lived up to its hype as a result of "lateness to market, fading interest from key parties, plummeting PC prices and the expected emergence of Windows terminals", Dataquest said.
Microsoft's Windows terminal and NetPC strategies offer cost-effective alternatives through the use of existing PC hardware and the ability to run Windows applications -- "now as a de facto standard", said Kimball Brown, vice president and chief analyst of Dataquest's Intranet and Web Servers Worldwide program.
Although the thin client hardware market hasn't reached projections for growth, network computing as a software architecture is emerging well as organisations see the benefit of a centrally controlled computing environment and move their applications development focus in that direction, Brown said.