Compaq, for example, sign a license agreement with BeOS to operate this system on its next generation terminal ready-to-surf (see edition of December 22, 1999). .
Other manufacturers are also in the running, even if the technical details relating to these devices are not necessarily known.
For example, Virgin Group would prepare a device with a 10 inch flat screen and a wireless keyboard to surf the Web.
According to the Cnet site will be distributed free of charge from 10&000 preferred customers during the first year.
For its part, Acer has developed I-Station, a decoder that plugs into Internet television. No screen, hard drive or external drive, it includes a 56K modem. Limitations prevent access to some useful functions, like displaying video sequences in real time format RealMedia or QuickTime. Land already encroached by the 128-bit console Sega Dreamcast. The latter has an optional keyboard, manages surfing and e-mails but does not listen to Internet radio for example.
For several years we hear about these devices connect to the Web and intended for everyone. Many prototypes have emerged and disappeared as quickly. We remember also the sales performance rather average decoders Internet Netgem French companies (the Netbox) or Comon (the DomoTV). However, the arrival in force of heavyweights such as Intel forced change all that. Especially since his announcement closely follows that of Microsoft and its Web Companion whose release is scheduled for mid-2000.