Digital Equipment Corp.'s AltaVista software group is working on zero-footprint software that will deliver "just-in-time" computing to kiosks and other computers anywhere in the world.
Zero-footprint software lives on a server, and thus takes up no room, or footprint, on a client PC. These footprints will essentially replicate a user's work environment on any device connected to the Internet and capable of running a Java virtual machine.
According to AltaVista president and CEO Eileen Lang, with this software "you won't have to depend on having your computer with you to have your own work environment."
The software could be enabled via a fingerprint-style log-in, or through more conventional means. Any log-in will create a secure tunnel that lets users link their personal information from their home server to whatever console they're working on.
Digital would not disclose the third-party companies involved, but confirmed that they are working with others to deliver these capabilities. The software will be available in alpha sometime this summer and is expected to be delivered in 1998.