IBM's Network Stations Announce Industry's First Sub-$500 NC; Demonstrates Continued Leadership in Think Client Computing

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NEW YORK - 15 Apr 1998: ... IBM today announced price cuts to its Network Station family of industry-leading network computers, in addition to outlining key planned enhancements to extend its leadership in thin-client computing. The IBM Network Station Series 100 will now be sold at an estimated reseller price of $499 US -- making it the first NC solution (including computer, server and client software, computer network adapter card, keyboard and mouse) from a major computer company to be sold for under $500. The Network Station Series 300 will now be sold at a estimated reseller price of $629 US.

IBM also announced its plans to be the first company to offer support for more than 30 languages on its network computers, enabling users around the world to use keyboards and utilize systems management and instruction manuals in their native languages.

Included in IBM's Network Station enhancements will be native ICA support (Independent Computing Architecture), a protocol from Citrix Systems, Inc., which enables thin-clients to connect to NT servers for executing Windows applications. This will provide IBM's customers with extended options, inclu ding Windows Terminal Server from Microsoft and WinFrame from Citrix, to address their Windows applications requirements.

"IBM's Network Stations offer better manageability and more functions than stripped-down PCs or mere Windows Terminals," said Bob Dies, General Manager of IBM's Network Computer Division. "Customers want to be able to connect to multiple servers because they want access to their existing applications, to new ones, such as Lotus' eSuite WorkPlace; and to intranets and the Internet. IBM's family of Network Stations allows for a faster speed of application deployment and a lower total cost-of-ownership."

IBM's commitment to investing in the evolving network computing marketplace has also been shown in recent months with plans to jointly develop JavaOS for Business (developed by IBM's Network Computing Software Division in conjunction with Sun Microsystems) on its high-end NC's. IBM's Network Station was also first to ship the eSuite WorkPlace software from Lotus, a new class of Java-based productivity components.

"IBM is maintaining its leadership in network computers by continuing to focus on finding new and innovative ways to eliminate technical complexity for our customers," Dies added. "Rapid deployment of applications, better manageability and lower Total Cost of Ownership make the Network Station model an ideal desktop solution for many types of users. IBM's ability to deliver market-leading NCs and PCs in an integrated environment sets us apart in the industry."

In Europe and the Middle East, languages that will be supported by the IBM Network Station include: French, Belgian French, Swiss French, German, Swiss German, Italian, Swiss Italian, Spanish, Czech, Dutch, Belgian Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian , Swedish, Greek, Hebrew , Arabic, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Catalan, Croatian, Serbian-Cyrillic, Slovakian, and Slovenian.

Among the languages supported by IBM's new Network Stations in Asia-Pacific are: Japanese, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Thai and Korean. In the Americas, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese, English and Spanish will be available.
The latest Network Station Manager software with National Language Support is planned for worldwide availability this summer.

Network Stations are distributed by IBM's Business Partners, with IBM Credit Corporation offering attractive financing options for IBM Business Partners' solutions packages.

IBM formed its Network Computer Division in 1996, and, according to consultants at IDC, "IBM did more in 1997 to advance the NC concept " than any other computer vendor. Meta Group Consulting said last month that in a recent survey of more than 50 multinationals, 87 percent predicted network computers would comprise some part of their desktop clients, while 13 percent predicted they would use NCs exclusively in the next three to five years.

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