Cisco Systems Inc said yesterday it is planning to develop a set of thin servers which will boot up local networks of network computers. Cisco apparently went to IBM Corp looking for a chip to power the boxes, and the two both thought this would be a great way to make some money and decided to collaborate on the effort. The thin servers will work at the workgroup level and operate purely as a boot server, leaving the larger machines to do the application server work. Cisco said the purpose of the product is to provide fast local access for NCs to boot, although it also suggested that very simple applets could be downloaded from these stripped-down servers. Cisco says it has not decided on such things as boot protocols, but said it would support the Network computer Reference Profile (NCRP) set of standards, which should have a boot protocol added to it very soon. The networking giant is calling the devices Micro NC Servers, using an IBM Corp PowerPC 403GCX, the same family at the heart of IBM’s Network Station NCs. Cisco’s not expecting product announcements until the fourth quarter and shipments probably early next year, but it says it will be focused on various vertical markets.