Intel Corp has signed a three-year deal with Network Computing Devices Inc to jointly develop desktop terminals based on the lean client guidelines Intel announced in December (CI No 3,304). As part of the agreement, Intel has taken a 4.4% stake in Mountain View, California-based NCD, handing over roughly $10m for 750,000 shares. The arrangement […]
Intel Corp has signed a three-year deal with Network Computing Devices Inc to jointly develop desktop terminals based on the lean client guidelines Intel announced in December (CI No 3,304). As part of the agreement, Intel has taken a 4.4% stake in Mountain View, California-based NCD, handing over roughly $10m for 750,000 shares. The arrangement will see NCD develop a reference platform design that consists of Pentium-based hardware integrated with software from both companies. Under the terms of the non-exclusive agreement, Intel will supply NCD with Pentium chips, associated logic components and related software. NCD will then create, manufacture and market lean client systems and enhanced operating software. The two companies say they’ll also put their heads together on lowering the cost of business-based clients. NCD says the Intel arrangement won’t benefit the company’s first half results, which are expected to see lower revenues and modest losses, according to the company. Last year’s first half generated net income of $2.7m on revenue of $65.4m. The initial Intel-based products – which will be marketed under NCD’s brand as well as private OEM labels – will be demonstrated in the spring, with production volumes ready by the second half of the year. The first offerings will run Windows CE, but the Intel lean client guidelines offer support for other platforms as well, including Java and Unix. NCD says it may introduce machines based on other operating systems in the future but has no set plans to do so at this time. NCD says the Intel deal is a statement for the industry and an endorsement of both itself and the general marketplace for thin clients. The market is expected to be worth about 10 million units a year by 2000, and about 20% of the total desktop market by 2002, and NCD hopes that Intel’s weight will help it take a healthy portion of that. It says that OEMs and customers have been eagerly awaiting Intel’s arrival in the thin client space. Even NCD competitor Neoware Inc, which has a similar joint development deal in place with Motorola Inc, applauded the news, saying that Intel’s move legitimizes the growth potential for the marketplace as a whole. Separately, Intel announced it has made an unspecified equity investment in San Francisco-based WebLogic Inc. The two will work together on optimizing the performance of WebLogic’s Java application server on the Intel architecture, including the emerging IA64 products.