IBM Scores Overseas with Network Station

Though much of the wind has been taken out of the Network Computer's sails since the concept was introduced more than two years ago, IBM continues to find success in the thin client device market. The company's latest score is a deal that represents the largest sale of thin clients in Europe to date, according to IBM sources.

Thousands of IBM's Network Stations have been sold into two European accounts--GAD, the data processing center for a co-operative network of banks based in Muenster, Germany, and CGU, a large insurance company based in the U.K. These sales follow other large deployments, including 3,000 Network Stations scheduled for installation at Fred Meyer Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based food and drug retailer, and more than 1,000 headed to the European and Asian facilities of AlliedSignal Turbocharging Systems (Torrance, Calif.).

GAD has ordered 12,500 Network Stations to be installed across 400 of its local branch offices, facilitating the management of multiple branch offices with many users, according to IBM. The devices will be used in conjunction with OS/2 Warp servers running IBM's WorkSpace On-Demand to provide both behind-the-scenes and customer-facing employees with access to GAD's banking application suite, BB3. CGU has ordered 2,500 Network Stations to be added to the 4,000 already in use.

The announcement of IBM's success selling its Network Stations both domestically and internationally coincides with news that IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) have stopped development of their JavaOS for Business operating system. JavaOS for Business was a joint development project to create a thin-client operating system that shipped on both companies' next generation of thin client devices.

--L. Greenemeier