Tektronix targets GSA with new systems

Tektronix Inc. last week introduced a line of network computers that the company said can access data housed in a range of computing platforms from the Internet to legacy mainframe systems.

Tektronix's new product line the NC200 Series Business Network Computers starts at $1 495 for a system equipped with a monitor. Tektronix plans to market the systems to federal agencies through its General Services Administration schedule resellers which include Government Technology Services Inc."This is designed to address large organizations with very heterogeneous computing requirements " said Lee Rainey program director of the Tektronix Video and Networking Division's video data services. "The federal government typically has a complex computing environment built up over a number of years " he added.

Cross-Platform Support

Greg Blatnik vice president of Zona Research Inc. Redwood City Calif. said support for a wide range of platforms is among the key criteria for buyers shopping for network computers. "People generally don't rip out their entire environment and replace it with something else " he said.

For Internet access the NC200 Series features Tektronix's Navio NC Navigator browser which is based on Netscape Communications Corp.'s Netscape Navigator 3.0. The product also includes a Java interpreter software for accessing Unix systems and such host environments as IBM Corp. mainframes and Digital Equipment Corp. minicomputers and Tektronix's WinDD software which provides access to PC-based applications.

The NC200 Series features a 100 MHz NEC4300 processor and 8M of memory expandable to 72M and runs Wind River Systems Inc.'s VxWorks embedded real-time Unix operating system. The product line's entry-level model the NC200E is priced at $795 without a monitor.

The NC200H model meanwhile sells for $1 295 without a monitor and features greater expandability and a full-motion video option. That option provides for 30-frame-per-second MPEG1 video capability which Rainey said would be suitable for surveillance and video-based training applications. The NC200 line has monitor options of 15 17 20 and 21 inches. Units with monitors range from $1 495 to $3 695.

The NC200 Series is not Tektronix's first foray into network computing. The company has marketed its Netstation line which provides access to Unix and PC applications.

Blatnik said the NC200 Series is not a completely new concept for the company but he added that the product line provides advances in such areas as Internet capability and video.

Rainey said the NC200 Series products will be available on the GSA schedule following commercial availability which is scheduled for later this month.

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