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IBM, Intel team up on NCs

IBM announces it will "tune" its Java business software for Intel-based network computers.

IBM will "tune" its Java business software for network computers using Intel processors and conduct joint development with the chip giant.

IBM will also develop a high-end version of its Network Station incorporating an Intel processor, the two companies said in a joint release. The new system will come to market in the first half of 1999.

Big Blue?s endorsement of Intel?s "Lean Client" network computer (NC) technology should boost industry momentum for this fledgling Intel initiative.

Network Computing Devices (NCD) has already signed a three-year deal with Intel to make lean client computers. Interestingly, NCD has been making NCs for IBM that use a version of the PowerPC processor.

The software portion of the announcement state that IBM will modify its JavaOS for Business software to run on Intel processors. JavaOS for Business is an operating system (OS) jointly marketed by IBM and Sun Microsystems. The OS is designed from the ground up to run Java applications.

In addition, the two companies' cooperation extends to the sharing of technology and joint research and development. This includes the development of technology for boosting performance of Java applications on Intel-based computers while maintaining compatibility with other kinds of computers.