The Network Computer: The Revolution That Never Was…

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 5, 2010 in Tech |

The Oracle Network Computer standard: The Acorn Network Computer

By chance I was watching the Bloomberg TV show Game Changers and they had an interesting biography of Larry Ellison. Honestly not being a database guy I thought it was going to be dull, but then there was an amazing segment of the show which which explored Ellison’s lost project from the mid-90s: The Network Computer.

Ellison’s concept at the dawn of the net was that instead of taking a PC and having it talk to the net like Windows 95 you’d have a diskless computer where all the data would be in the cloud and your thin client would be a very light weight computer. In the end what killed the concept was that PCs dropped to under $500 in price — but here we are 15 years later and devices like netbooks and the iPad seem to be exactly what he was thinking of back then:

What I find interesting about all of this today is that Oracle now owns Sun. When they took them over I had just assumed they were going for the patent assets and ownership of Java — but I’d bet that there’s still a chance that Ellison may get into hardware yet.


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