On Wed, 3 Jun 1998 10:48:48 -0500, Ken Schuller
>One thing that immediately intrigued me is that one of their machines isn't
>truly a "thin client"- a 3GB HD was included on one of the models, and it
>appeared to have a slot at the front of the case for either floppies or CD's
>The thing I can't figure out is why they went StrongARM rather than Intel or
>PPC. I understand power consumption was part of the decision, but it makes
>me wonder who's going to handle kernel updates, compilers, etc. They
>_could_ be making a great thing here, but it's a thin line between a great
>thing and an orphan...
I get the impression that both they and Cobalt Computing are *not*
selling "thin clients" at this point, but rather targetting the areas of
the "Thin Server."
The boxes are nice targets for providing:
- Web services (targeting IIS)
- File services via SAMBA (targeting NT Server)
You can make considerably more money on a $1000 "lite server" than you
can on a $300 "lite client;" once you've pushed some servers into
enterprises, it will be easier to push in the clients.
The choice of StrongARM over Intel is interesting; I would think that
power consumption and the price of the chips combines with the fact that
the non-use of IA-32 encourages people to come to Corel for software.
If they sold little servers running IA-32s, then Red Hat, Caldera, Linux
Mall, and others are nicely positioned to sell lots of software. By
using StrongARM, this means that Corel is positioned as the primary
software source, which is where they want to be.
Similarly, Cobalt's use of MIPS means that they are the primary software
source for their systems.
Their having eschewed PPC is not a big surprise; I don't think there are
too many $25 PPC CPUs out there. (Although I could stand to be
corrected on that...)
"Absolutely nothing should be concluded from these figures except that
no conclusion can be drawn from them." (By Joseph L. Brothers,