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Caldera poised to launch ultra-thin Java client

Company set to storm price-conscious set-top box market

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Caldera is poised to launch an ultra-thin Java client for DR-Dos, the OS that was once an MS-Dos competitor but is now enjoying a new lease of life in the embedded market. Earlier this week Caldera won a deal to supply software for 170,000 set-top boxes to OnSat Network Communications (DR gets OnSatellite of love), beating Microsoft's WebTV in the process. The impending arrival of the Java client is likely to have influenced OnSat's decision. OnSat proposes to offer satellite-based ISP services to parts of the world where PCs and land-lines are scarce, and Caldera's system will run on minimal hardware, while the company's WebSpyder browser allows users to access the Internet from Dos. Caldera Thin Clients, the division which was formed recently to handle DR-Dos development and sales, has promised a Java client for DR-Dos in the past, and has had one in beta for some time now. Its addition to the range will strengthen the prospects of interestingly minimalist devices, Dos PCs which Caldera has said could cost as little as $100. Roger Goss, one of the original DR-Dos developers and now president of Caldera Thin Clients (which is effectively the old UK-based DR-Dos operation reformed), suggests that the Java client is going to be slim enough to give Sun a run for its money. This is likely to be particularly the case in the set-top box arena, because over millions of units a few dollars each for more memory will have a major impact on the cable companies' buying decisions. ® Click for more stories

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