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Acer plans to sell $500 PC overseas

Acer will sell a $500 PC overseas but won't compete with Oracle's Network Computer.

Acer is planning to deliver a $500 PC overseas but says it won't compete with the $500 Network Computer from Oracle and company in North America.

Just 48 hours after Oracle, IBM, and Sun Microsystems announced a common standard for the Network Computer, Acer is promising to deliver to selected overseas markets a full-fledged personal computer complete with external hard disk drive for $500, the price goal for the NC.

The Acer Basic will be sold starting next month in "developing nations and perhaps Europe," according to a company spokeswoman, adding that the firm has no plans for North American distribution. An earlier Bloomberg report did not specify which countries would be targeted for these sales.

The Acer Basic will be powered by a 5x86 processor from either AMD or Cyrix and include 4MB of RAM. The system can use a television or a computer monitor, sold separately, for display. The Basic will not include an internal storage drive but instead use the external Iomega Zip drive. The Internet-ready machine will run the Windows 3.1 operating system.

So far, the cheapest full-fledged PC planned for delivery in the United States is a $1,000 machine from AST Research, which will be sold through the Wal-Mart chain of discount stores.

Related stories:
Wal-Mart to sell PCs for under $1,000
NC makers disclosed but buyers aren't
Oracle opens software shop for NC