It's still an open question if this tried-and-true technique will really give the PC a run for its money for control of the corporate desktop. But what is already abundantly clear is that NC proponents are forcing manufacturers to respond to the charge that PCs cost too much to operate.
|Ray Lane, Oracle's president and COO, on promoting why network computers
are the future
While the headlines have focused on the targeted $500 base price, this figure is mostly conceived to appeal to the consumer market, where the conventional wisdom dictates that the average consumer won't pay more than $500 for what is basically an entertainment device. But in the corporate world, the difference between a $500 NC and a more capable $1,100 PC is negligible.
Where the dollar signs really start adding up is with a hard-to-measure but widely used figure called "cost of ownership." This number quantifies the cumulative costs of paying IS employees to support desktop users, buying new software or hardware, repairing broken parts, and general administration costs like preparing manuals for customized corporate applications.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on the relationship of server software to the NC
Why? The argument goes that NCs are simply simpler. Support personnel don't open the hood to install new motherboards or add-in cards, and they just install new applications on servers instead of having to run from desktop to desktop loading or configuring software. All this saved time means saved cost-of-ownership money.