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3Com readies Palm-beating Net access box

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3Com is preparing its first Internet appliance, a home-oriented device that company chairman Eric Benhamou claims will be "bigger than Palm". Interviewed by Reuters, Benhamou said: "It is the sort of appliance you might enjoy having on your kitchen counter, but it will start much more quickly than Palm because there is already a base of Palm users, six or seven million well-connected people who are primed for the kind of product we are bringing onto the market." The device will be unveiled in three months' time. Benhamou didn't reveal much else in the way of specifics, but it's clear from the tone of his comments - it will be sold through the same kind of channels that handled 3Com's now-sold modem products, he said - that it has been designed for domestic Net access. "We expect that service providers will also be attracted to selling the product because it will provide access to your favorite brands and content, like the Palm 7, but being at home you would also have access to other kinds of networks such as broadband, cable and DSL," he added. ® Related Story 3Com to ditch products and up to 3000 jobs

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