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October 5, 1998

NETWORK COMPUTER INC HAS EMBEDDED SYSTEMS PLATFORM

By CBR Staff Writer

Network Computer Inc has announced an internet stack for embedded devices, to be called eNavigator. The software fits at the low end of NCI’s connectivity family, below NC Desktop for the enterprise and TV Navigator for cable companies and telcos. Randy Brasche says eNavigator is for phones, PDAs and even gas pumps so advertisers can feed ads to you while you fill your tank. Brasche explains: Right now these devices are effectively islands and cannot use the internet to enhance their functionality. Not for long: NCI has established a relationship with Wind River Systems, maker of the Tornado development environment and VxWorks embedded operating system. Hardware manufacturers that license Tornado and VxWorks – and according to Brasche there are plenty of them – can now add internet connectivity to, say, a free-standing word processor using eNavigator. It’s a highly leveraged OEM model, he explains. NCI gets the license fees but they’re not saying how much. As far as we can tell, eNavigator’s main competitor in the embedded internet stack market is Utah company EmWare Inc, but where EmWare is working on the 8- to 16-bit space, NCI works on 32-bit processors.

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