Originally supposed to ship in the first quarter of 1997, the computer is now scheduled to ship in the first quarter of next year.
The network computer, or NC, is a stripped-down computing device that mainly functions as a conduit to a corporate network. It's touted as a less-expensive and easier-to-maintain alternative to the personal computer and a more functional replacement for terminals. Corel's NC will also offer video capabilities.
The computer runs on a Digital Equipment's StrongARM SA-110 microprocessor, a chip designed to offer high processing speeds and handle multimedia functions in devices smaller than the PC.
The computer's operating system is based on Linux, a Unix-based operating system widely and freely available over the Internet. The bundled communications suite, including audio/video, email, Web-browsing, and word-processing software, is Java-based.
While software, user documents, and user profiles are stored on a central server, a cacheing system enables users to continue to work when their computers are disconnected from the server. The 500MB persistent cache memory also helps minimize network traffic.
The small machine, roughly 9 1/2 by 6 3/8 by 2 inches, comes with multimedia features including full in/out stereo, a microphone and speaker, a jack for an analog phone, an IP phone, and videoconferencing capability.
Pricing was not disclosed.