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A network PC (Net PC) is a small, low-cost computer designed to be centrally managed and support businesses using network applications. In the mid-1990s, the Net PC competed with the former network computer standard. Net PCs are not equipped with disk drives, CD-ROM drives or expansion slots. However, they do have hard disks that are used to provide temporary cache and improve performance.
Introduced in 1997, NetPCs were an early approach to managing computers with the Windows operating system. NetPCs are usually used for online transaction processing, banking services and retail point-of-sale terminals. Because they are relatively inexpensive, Microsoft and Intel designed the Net PC with sealed cases to discourage users from reconfiguring the hardware.