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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?