On March 24, at the JavaOne trade show in San Francisco, Sun Microsystems will finally announce its oft-delayed JavaStation, giving the network computer industry a much-needed shot in the arm.
Sun officials have confirmed that the plan was to begin shipping the JavaStation by the end of this month but admitted that even that plan was tentative.
The move would serve to bolster a market that has seen several of its initial supporters abandon plans to build NC products, choosing instead to follow Microsoft down the Windows-based Terminal path. Wyse, Network Computing Devices, and Boundless have all re-aligned themselves with Microsoft in the past six months.
IBM will welcome the addition of some competition into the NC market after having shouldered the load alone to date.
"We are trying to grow the market," said Howie Hunger, director of channels marketing for IBM. "We would love to see Sun and Oracle shipping lots of these things."