March 26, 1997 11:00 AM ET
HP X terminal division sniffs Java
By Lisa DiCarlo

  Hewlett-Packard Co. has no plans to deliver a Java-based network computer la Oracle Corp., but don't assume it's ignoring Java altogether.

Next week, HP's Panacom Automation Division-which develops its X terminals-will announce a RISC-based netstation that includes the Java virtual machine, said sources familiar with the plans.

HP executives have said they don't believe in the Java-based NC concept as defined by Oracle and partners, contending that the architecture is too decentralized. Nevertheless, they concede that the Palo Alto, Calif., company can't ignore the mushrooming number of ISVs writing Java applications.

HP's netstation is based on Intel Corp.' s i960 RISC processor. By Java-enabling its X terminals, HP joins the ranks of companies transforming thin clients into Java-based NCs. Wyse Technology Inc. and Network Computing Devices Inc. are two companies that have remade themselves around network-centric computing.

HP officials declined to comment on unannounced products.

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