Amidst a maelstrom of doubt over the viability of the NetPC platform, Compaq Computer Corp. stepped up on Monday and announced immediate availability of the first NetPC product, the Compaq Deskpro 4000N.
Although other major vendors are backing off of the specifications at an alarming rate, Compaq has remained steadfastly committed to the NetPC as the way to reduce the total cost of ownership of PCs.
Compaq, which has no other thin-client offerings such as IBM's Network Station or HP's Netstation, hopes that the Deskpro 4000N will serve as its stalking horse for driving manageability issues like "Wired for Management" through the PC industry.
"Compaq and Intel have worked closely together to ensure that the Compaq Deskpro 4000N and Wired-for-Management-enabled Managed PCs will provide effective centralized management to help control costs across all networks," said Pat Gelsinger, vice president and general manager of the desktop products group at Intel Corp.
Consistent with the NetPC specifications, no removable media devices -- such as CD-ROM drives and diskette drives -- are supported on the Deskpro 4000N. ISA slots also have been eliminated. To simplify integration of Deskpro 4000N in enterprise network environments, the new desktop supports NetPC-standard remote boot and associated Remote System Installation and configuration capabilities. Additionally, the customer-lockable, sealable case design allows systems administrators to limit the end-user's access to the Deskpro 4000N's internal components.
The Deskpro 4000N is powered by a 166-MHz, 200-MHz or 233-MHz Pentium processor with MMX technology and includes 32MB of SDRAM, an internal EIDE hard drive, integrated 10/100Mbps autosensing Netelligent Interface Controller with Remote Wakeup technology, one PCI slot, two Universal Serial Bus ports, two serial ports, and one parallel port.
In addition to Intelligent Manageability features, the Deskpro 4000N is fully Desktop-Management-Interface-compliant and provides support for a range of management applications including Microsoft Systems Management Server, Novell ManageWise, Intel LANDesk Management Suite, McAfee Zero Administration Client, and Computer Associates UniCenter. The Deskpro 4000N will ship with Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 preinstalled and will support Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT 3.51 and IBM OS/2.
Prices for the Deskpro 4000N start at US$1,149.
Compaq Computer Corp., in Houston, Texas, can be reached at www.compaq.com.