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NEC, Samsung enter nascent Net PC market

NEC and Samsung release Intel-based Net PCs in Asia, despite the reluctance of many PC makers in the United States to do so.

NEC and Samsung Electronics have released Net PCs based on an Intel architecture in Asia, despite the reluctance of many PC makers in the United States to do so.

Samsung will market in November a Net PC called Magic Station Net, according to a report from the online edition of Nikkei Business Publications, which cites a report in the South Korea?s Maeil Business Newspaper.

Also, NEC, the largest PC vendor in Japan, has released its first Net PC, as the company shifts its PCs from an aging, quasi-proprietary architecture to a pure Windows-Intel design.

Net PCs are marketed as low-cost, stripped-down corporate PCs that can be managed remotely by server computers in order to save on maintenance costs.

Samsung?s Net PC, which comes in a compact package much smaller than standard desktops, will use the Windows operating system and support Java applications. The new product also packs a Pentium MMX processor running at 166 MHz, 16MB of memory, and audio and network cards. It will be priced at $1,100.

Last week, NEC began sales of the PC98-NX series of Windows-Intel standard personal computers and also rolled out two lines of Net PCs, the Net FineNX and FineNX. The latter come with a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor.

Ironically, many U.S. PC vendors have been reluctant to sell Net PCs. Compaq is one of the few to introduce a Net PC based on the guidelines spelled out by Intel,Microsoft, and Compaq.