aNewDomain.net — It was the year 2000. And pretty much everyone thought we were crazy. At the time, I was running as CEO Larry Ellison’s New Internet Computer (NIC) company. Our product was the Linux-based web-only $199 NIC — a network computer with no hard disk, no Windows and, fatally for us, no cloud services at the time to lean on. But Ellison and our team were prescient. The vision was that every kid in every school should have one. Ellison’s foundation gave thousands of NICs away to a ton of schools nationally and worldwide. We sold them, too. That’s why the Google Chromebooks for Every Student video Google released today made me smile.
And it made me wonder. Is it finally time? We knew the era of thin client computing was inevitable back then. Has tech finally caught up? Schools rebelled back then — they were stuck on local storage and local word processing. No longer. So what’s up now?
Check out the video Google posted on its Chromebooks for all Students plan. This was exactly the plan — to the letter — for NIC, which evaporated with the dot com fiasco 10 years ago. What a difference a decade makes. Not to mention all the power behind Google and Google I/O 2013.
Video credit: Google Chrome channel on YouTube
Gina Smith is editorial director with John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle of aNewDomain.net. She and our site’s co-founder David Street served as CEO and COO at Larry Ellison’s NIC Company from 1999 to 2003.