The advent of cable modems in the market is set to erode ISDN market share and will hinder the adoption of network computers (NCs). That news comes in the face of poor results from BT and an admission that it was losing 60,000 lines a month to the 150 UK-based telecoms providers.
That, at least, is the view of Forrester Research, which has concluded that falling component costs and higher speed machines will mean a PC is a better way to surf the Net.
The news comes only a few days after an announcement by Oracle in conjunction with IBM, Sun, Compaq, Samsung, Goldstar and a host of other hardware and software players to support the NC concept in principle.
Although convergence is the shape of things to come, Forrester's report concludes that it may be much further away than most people think.
The report surveyed 50 companies across a spectrum of markets, including content and service providers, hardware and software vendors, and cable and phone companies.
While Oracle, Sun and IBM say that the Internet will create opportunities to meet a demand which might mean that as many as 500 million people will use the Web by the end of the century, they also believe that a PC isn't the best vehicle.
That view is contradicted by Forrester. The research company maintains that Web appliances are wrongly positioned against products like VCRs, cellphones, answering machines and games consoles.
Cable companies, on the other hand, have made considerable inroads into British Telecom's marketshare, and Forrester believes they are already eyeing up PC owners.
American companies, Forrester says, have realised that there is considerable revenue to be generated by selling cable modems. Even though the initial costs are likely to be expensive, they will fall over the next two years.
Forrester points out that one of the problems Oracle faces is that TV technology is still not good enough to display graphics and text using HTML.
But Oracle claims that its own technology, dubbed 'anti-twittering', will circumvent these problems and will create displays that are very likely to satisfy customer demand.
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