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June 25, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:24pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Determined not to let Oracle Corp and its network computer partners grab all of the limelight, NC pioneer HDS Network Systems Inc yesterday unveiled NeoStation, the skinny desktop client it has created designed to run Windows applications exclusively, based upon the Windows Terminal design concept peddled by Microsoft Corp (CI No 3,184). Although King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based HDS – soon to become Neoware Systems Inc – believes there will ultimately be a larger market for NCs designed to the profile created by Sun, IBM, Oracle and others, the former X Windows terminal builder wants to cover all of the thin client bases. The NeoStation is effectively a cut-down version of its @workstation pizza box design, which like IBM’s NetStation and Sun’s coffee pot JavaStation designs sits upright next to the monitor – which isn’t included in the $650 price tag, although mouse and keyboard are. Its runs the same Intel i960 RISC as the @workstation and a new cut-down version of the company’s netOS operating system which boots a Windows session running on Citrix Systems Inc’s WinFrame NT or Insignia Software Inc’s NTrigue multi-user extensions to NT Server, both of which utilize Citrix’s ICA protocol that enables non-Windows devices to access server-based Windows applications. For good measure, HDS is offering another configuration of the new 3.0 cut of netOS, this one designed specifically for the dumb terminal or green screen replacement market by including 32 terminal emulation options, including 3270, 5250, DEC, X and ICA. It’s called netOS for the Enterprise. The full Network Computer Reference Design- compatible netOS, now called netOS for intranets, additionally includes Java, Navigator and Spyglass browsers, email and a newsreader. The netOS also includes Microsoft’s CIFS Common Internet File System for doing standard Windows file sharing operations. It doesn’t support Sun’s WebNFS. Each version of netOS can be upgraded to the others via plug-ins and includes a new interface, control panel and configuration settings. Latest win for HDS’ technology is the other HDS, Hitachi Data Systems which has licensed netOS, will buy unspecified versions of HDS’ NCs and licence and sell the resulting product combinations under the Neoware brand. Hitachi is of course the company to which HDS Network Systems is assigning all rights to the HDS name and web address. HDS Network systems becomes Neoware Systems Inc on August 1. HDS Networks is already designing a PowerPC version of its NC for Motorola Inc, while Corel Corp will use netOS on its Motorola MPC 821 PowerPC-based Video-NC, though HDS won’t say whether it’s licensing both the hardware and software designs to Corel or just netOS. HDS’ other netOS/NC partners include AS/400 shop DCI and Affinity Systems Inc. Although the NC reference profile design will result in the development of a plethora of NC devices, from telephones to handhelds, HDS says its focused purely on the desktop market. HDS has just picked up a $1.5m order for its network computers from the US Forest Service. Most of its current business is direct but the company expects its OEM revenue to increase as more of its partners go public with their plans.

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