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Jun 4 2009   3:08PM GMT

Back to the future: Ellison eyes netbooks

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

I can’t remember who said it but  around the time Oracle launched its big Sun Microsystems buyout plan, one industry pundit snarked that it was only a matter of time before Oracle CEO Larry Ellison would rechristen netbooks as NCs and declare victory. (If you kids don’t know what an NC is, ask your parents. Or read this.)

“I don’t see why some of those [netbook] devices shouldn’t come from Sun-Oracle,” Ellison reportedly said at JavaOne yesterday.

Many still relegate netbooks–small form factor devices used primarily for light local computing and heavy web surfing–to the consumer realm. But that’s not really true even now. Many large IT shops are deploying netbooks as loaners for traveling workers.

With WIndows 7–the Starter Edition of which has been designated for netbooks–coming on Oct. 22, with Google pushing Android as an alternative and with Intel doing likewise with Moblin, the itty-bitty netbook is the next computing battlefield.

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