Stock Watch: NetZero Gains as Oracle’s Net Appliance Debuts

NetZero (Nasdaq: NZRO) rose 3/4 to 6 Monday as Oracle Corp.’s new Internet appliance, which comes with free Web access via NetZero, went on sale. The stripped-down PCs, which run on the Linux operating system, are available for $199 per unit.

The device is “the only Internet appliance that doesn’t tie you down to a single ISP,” said Gina Smith, chief executive officer of NIC Co., Oracle’s partner in the venture. “You can sign with NetZero for free Internet access, or use an account you already have with other popular ISPs.”

Ten of the appliances, signed by Ellison and Smith, are being auctioned off. The bidding, which started at $1, soared above $700 for each.

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