Where are they now? Ellison

By Jim Evans, IDG News Service |  Operating Systems

Larry Ellison's year-old New Internet Computer Co. announced Wednesday that it
has begun shipping Version 2.0 of the operating system for its $199 New Internet
Computer (NIC).

NIC OS 2.0 offers greater functionality for the company's Internet appliance
and is available as a free upgrade on compact disc to current NIC users, the
company said in a statement.

NIC OS Version 2.0 includes: graphical boot up, Netscape Communication Corp.'s
4.76 Web browser, upgraded plug-ins for the browser, Macromedia Inc. Flash 5.0,
RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer 8.0, easier setup for LANs (local area networks),
DSL (digital subscriber line) and cable modems, instant messaging and additional
games.

The New Internet Computer Co. was incorporated in January 2000 and began selling
its New Internet Computer in July 2000. The company has not released any sales
figures for its Internet appliance, said Michael Salort, a company spokesman.
But he added that business has exceeded internal expectations.

"We have sold many, many more (computers) than we thought we would sell
without any marketing," he said, without providing specific figures. Sales
are also higher than the company anticipated for 2001, despite the turbulent
economic conditions, Salort said.

Ellison, Oracle Corp.'s chairman and chief executive officer, has been a champion
of low-cost networked computers. In 1995, Ellison talked about the concept of
a "network computer," which was a computer that connected to server
but lacked a hard drive and would be a low-cost alternative to regular PCs.
However, the network-computer concept has been slow to catch on.

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