Some of Microsoft's most prominent OEMs (such as Dell and HP) have become vocal in their distaste for the NetPC but Microsoft is sticking behind it. The NetPC is a low-cost, stripped-down computer that prevents its users from randomly changing hardware and software. It is designed to be more manageable than a standard PC. Many companies have publicly stated that there is little demand for such a box, which falls between a Windows CE-based "Windows Terminal" and a full-fledged PC.

"Net PC adoption won't be as broad as, say, multimedia PCs. It won't be mainstream. But it will be a critical, though niche-type, of market," said Phil Holden, a Microsoft product manager in the Windows Product Group. "Net PC defines a key bunch of management technologies designed simply to make users' experiences better by reducing ownership costs and making PCs more manageable. Over time, these kinds of things will be incorporated in all PCs."

Microsoft is claiming that the NetPC specification has been endorsed by major players such as Compaq, Digital, Gateway 2000, HP, and IBM, and that, "as a concept," it is a success