Feeds

Nat Semi CEO proposes giveaway PCs

Safeway et al. to bundle budget Net terminals to encourage Web-based grocery ordering, says Halla

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Brian Halla, president and CEO of National Semiconductor, has become the latest industry big-wig to leap on the idea of giving away PCs for free. But don't call the guy up to demand a Pentium in the post -- he reckons Web-based e-commerce practitioners will do the donating. Speaking at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California, Halla pitch centred on the coming ubiquity of e-commerce. He reckons that once more users begin to order everyday goods and services via the Web, the companies behind those sites will seek to differentiate their offerings not only on price but by making their sites easier to access. To Halla, that translates to giving away free, or at least very low cost, Internet access hardware, such as NC-like terminals, possibly running Citrix WinFrame-style client software, an interesting alternative to the set-top box approach most such visionaries adopt. Like Netscape's Marc Andreessen (see Andreessen predicts free PCs), who propounded the free PC model last September at the Telecosm conference, Halla looks to the cellphone model, where handsets are sold well below cost as part of airtime packages, for his vision. Not that Halla's view of the future is untarnished by commercial gain. His gameplan is based on the hope that the emerging market for cheap Internet access machines will drive up demand for Nat Semi subsidiary Cyrix's PC-on-a-chip MediaPC product, due next June, and which, according to Halla, Acer's Stan Shih has given the thumbs-up. During his talk, Halla alluded to the graphical power of the Sony Playstation, capable, he said, of stunning imagery generated solely by a collection of intergrated processors and a 34MHz CPU, as a guiding light for the low-cost Net terminals he envisages. His demo did indeed include super-slick Playstation imagery, but since it was streamed off a CD-ROM, not generated on the fly, Halla's clearly not quite as au fait with gaming technology as he believes. His proponency of WinFrame is also based on his own company's ongoing roll-out of some 50 WinFrame machines serving thousands of clients across the world. It would be ungallant of us to suggest a free ad for Citrix at the Forum may lead to lower licence fees, so we won't. ® Click for more stories

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.