Toshiba to ship Java-based network computers

Japan's Toshiba will later this month announce its first lineup of network computing devices based on the Java operating system. The offerings will include a desktop machine and a mobile network computer, an official said. The A4-sized mobile unit, with keyboard, will come in two versions, one with a hard drive and the other diskless and will initially use the ARM RISC processor before moving next year to Toshiba's own Java chip. Shipments in Japan will begin in December, but the company is not ready to sell the machines overseas.

Japan's Toshiba will later this month announce its first lineup of network computing devices based on the Java operating system.

The offerings will include a desktop machine and a mobile network computer, an official said. The A4-sized mobile unit, with keyboard, will come in two versions, one with a hard drive and the other diskless. Shipments in Japan will begin in December. The company is not ready to sell the machines overseas, the Toshiba official said

All of the computers will run on the ARM processor, a RISC chip designed by Acorn Computer Group PLC of Cambridge, England. In the second half of next year Toshiba will upgrade the machines with the Java chip it is now developing, the company official said.

The new machines advance Toshiba's long-standing backing of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. One of Japan's first licensees of the Java programming language, Toshiba has chosen Java as one key area of thrust for its computer and networking product group, the company official said.

In line with that Java-orientated push, Sun Microsystems President and CEO Scott McNealy has a meeting planned next week in Tokyo with Toshiba top brass including his Toshiba counterpart Taizo Nishimuro, officials said. McNealy will also address a seminar here next Tuesday on his company's 100% Pure Java initiative.

Toshiba Corp., with headquarters in Tokyo, can be reached on the World Wide Web at http://www.toshiba.com/.

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