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More New Internet Appliances

Techstination feature for Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Will your next computer be an Internet appliance? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. More and more companies are betting on it. Gateway has formed strategic alliances with AOL, Transmeta and Broadcom to create a device it calls the TouchPad. Gateway CEO Jeff Weitzen...

"What we want people to think about when they think about Gateway is basically connecting to the Internet with a lot of different devices. We want them to think about simple technology. We want them to think about gaining access to the Internet in every room of their house."

The 600 dollar TouchPad has the computer built into a flat screen. It connects through a built in modem or a network... including a home phone line network... and the processor is one of the new Crusoe chips from Transmeta where CEO Dave Ditzel says the big advantage is...

"It's not hot. So in a notebook, your battery life will last a long time. And for this desktop device, which doesn't use batteries, people say, well why use Crusoe, we thought it was a mobile chip? The answer is very simple, it doesn't generate a lot of heat. And so this machine is built to go in all your kids' bedrooms so you don't have a noisy fan keeping them awake at night."

If there's one drawback... it's that six hundred dollar price... just slightly less than a low end PC. At the New Internet Computer Company... a Larry Ellison backed outfit headed by Gina Smith... .their device... without a monitor sells for just two hundred dollars. Unlike the Gateway device, you can use any Internet service provider. Smith says the key is simplicity...

"When you turn these things on, they go right on the Internet. You never get a virus. You never get a Windows initialization."

You can find more information at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.