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Mitsubishi to show Java NCs

Mitsubishi Electronics America will demonstrate prototypes of Java-based mobile computing and desktop network computers.

At the JavaOne developers conference next week, Mitsubishi Electronics America will show prototypes of Java-based mobile computing and desktop network computers in hopes of becoming a major player in these markets.

Mitsubishi, which has never been a strong computer vendor, may be looking for an opportunity to establish an early toehold in the emerging market for network computers (NCs).

The MonAMI Java Network Terminal
Mitsubishi may also manufacture NCs for IBM (IBM), according to reports from Japan earlier this month. The company may supply IBM with the NCs on an OEM basis for sales worldwide, according to the reports. IBM's current NC product, the Net Station, is manufactured by NCD (NCDI).

At JavaOne, Mitsubishi will be demonstrating both desktop and wireless mobile NC terminals. NCs, such as those advocated by Oracle's NCI and Sun (SUNW), are loosely defined as computers that are connected to and rely on a server computer to store and distribute software applications.

The MonAMI-II is a Java-based mobile NC weighing under two pounds. It is designed to access networks through a wireless LAN. According to Mitsubishi, applications such as sales, bill collection, and consumer services might use such a device. The company says that the terminal can securely send and receive email and other information without reconfiguring the system for each move.

Mitsubishi will also demonstrate the MonAMI/NC and the MonAMI/ES, which are diskless NCs. MonAMI/NC uses a standard desktop monitor, while the MonAMI/ES uses a 12.1-inch active-matrix LCD screen to save space.