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Oracle wants partners for NC standards

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison would like Sun Microsystems and possibly IBM to work with him on standards for network computers.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison would like to sign on Sun Microsystems and possibly IBM as partners in support of a common set of standards for network appliances such as Oracle's own Network Computer.

The standards would allow manufacturers to build devices based on a common set of specifications and application programming interfaces (APIs). "Sun is building an NC. We're building an NC. The great thing is we're going to agree on a specification," Ellison told the Associated Press.

But published reports that Sun and IBM have already endorsed the plan may be premature. Sun has denied that it has actually signed a deal with Oracle to support the standards.

"We've not agreed to anything," said a spokesman for Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation, the division of Sun that has built and is testing 300 Sun-designed prototypes of a device comparable to Oracle's Network Computer. Sun's new PC will run Sun's Java programming language.

IBM is working on a similar network appliance called the Interactive PC. The company declined to comment on reports that it has also signed on to Oracle's standards bandwagon.