Larry Ellison is a technology leader. I think that's generally accepted. Some people might not like him, but you can't really deny what he has done with Oracle. Larry apparently has one giant weakness though. He's way ahead of his time. I ran across this news story from 1996.
New York -- Oracle Corp. CEO and Chairman Larry Ellison told a group of customers here that the first network computer conforming to the company's specifications will be launched in October, and priced at $299.
..a keyboardless, diskless NC with 8 megabytes of RAM. The configuration used a Zenith television as a monitor, a mouse, and ran Oracle's InterOffice groupware application.
What does that sounds like?
It may not be much to look at, but CherryPal's new device - a $249 paperback-sized box containing an underpowered processor and a token amount of memory - is a forerunner of the oncoming revolution in "cloud" computing.
Sound a bit like that? And that is a "forerunner of the oncoming revolution in cloud computing"? That's from an article on venturebeat, from July 21, 2008.
Maybe Larry should have named the NC, the CC, cloud computer. Oh wait, a cloud was just a bunch water way back then.
It's not exactly comparable. The NC was supposed to be entirely diskless not just cloud based. If you want to get even closer to the NC, check out the Nimbus Cloud Computer.
This is the new NC. Not really a computer at all but a network interface to the cloud. Best of all, it's free! Seriously, they'll send you a cloud computer for free. Well, the free version has ads but for $19.00 per month, you can get it ad free. For free you get access to some software and 2GB of storage.
A Cloud Computer is a re-imagination of the idea of a computer. We think that an ordinary computer is too expensive, too complicated, and too much for what most people want to use a computer for. What we did is put all of the costly and complicated pieces of hardware and software into our data centers. You then use a smaller, simpler, much less expensive device thats always connected to the internet to control your computer. We think this is a much better way for you to do just what you want with a computer.
Use your keyboard and mouse to control your nimbus cloud computer. We manage your computer & all web-based and desktop applications & access to the internet. We send your virtual computer desktop to your nimbus.
During the customer presentation, nearly a year to the day after Ellison first floated the NC concept at an industry forum in Europe, an executive demonstrated a keyboardless, diskless NC with 8 megabytes of RAM. The configuration used a Zenith television as a monitor, a mouse, and ran Oracle's InterOffice groupware application.
In 1996, the VP of Global Financial Development of Estee Lauder saw the vision of network computing:
"Not right now, but somewhere down the road," said Philip Theiss, vice president of global financial process development at Estee Lauder Companies in Melville, New York. He said that he could see a future application for the NC in field sales.
Throw in Google Docs, Zoho, Web mail (Yahoo or Google), calendars, etc and cloud computing is here; 12 years after Ellison tried to sell the Network Computer. Larry has vision. I think he just sees to far sometimes. I wonder if he still has an NC sitting around. I wonder if he kicks now and then and shouts, "See! I told you! Morons!" I bet he does.