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Toshiba Corp looks to be the latest convert to support the Network Computer architecture, with plans to launch a Confolio family of Network Computer products for shipment in Japan as soon as the end of this year. And Toshiba has licensed Marimba Inc’s Castanet Tuner client software for integration with the new machines, the company said yesterday. It will use the Marimba software to provide customers with an out of the box system including built-in application and information distribution along with maintenance capabilities, with the idea of lowering the cost of ownership. Toshiba, which launched its JexeOS Java operating system for Intel-based personal computers at Comdex last week (CI No 3,293) says it will nevertheless be using JavaOS from Sun Microsystems Inc for its Network Computers, which use Digital Equipment Corp’s StrongARM RISC chip as their CPU. There are two models: the Confolio300 for mobile use and the Confolio700 for desktops. Toshiba says the Confolio300 will be the industry’s first Network Computer armed with mobile system capabilities. It’s not clear when – or if – the machines will make it beyond the shores of Japan. Fujitsu Ltd has also announced plans to enter the Network Computer market.

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