The Net PC (also referred to as the Network PC) is an industry specification for a low-cost personal computer designed for businesses and their network applications. A Net PC, which is a design for what is also sometimes known as a thin client, is intended to be centrally managed and to lack a diskette drive, CD-ROM drive, or hardware expansion slots. It is designed to support specific business tasks and applications. Typical uses for Net PCs would be online transaction processing (OLTP) applications, retail point-of-sale, and banking services.
Among companies that sell or plan to sell Net PCs are Acer, Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, and Unisys. Other companies including IBM plan to accommodate their existing personal computer line to compete. Net PCs are expected to cost $1,000 or less and offer Pentium microprocessor, 16 to 32 megabytes of random access memory, and at least 1.2 gigabyte hard drives. At its inception, the Net PC was forecast to achieve about 15% of total desktop PC sales.
A concept similar to the Net PC but with different ideas about what a low-cost network PC should be built with is called the network computer (NC).