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Intel's Linux-Powered Mobile Internet Device

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the is-that-a-penguin-in-your-pocket dept.

Linux Business 87

An anonymous reader writes "Intel is set to launch an ultra-mobile PC dubbed Mobile Internet Device or MID which will run on Linux. The PDA-sized devices will target 'consumers and prosumers' instead of mobile professionals. From the story: 'MID tablets will run a simplified finger-friendly user interface optimized for the small screens, based on the Gnome desktop but with an Intel-developed master user interface layer to serve as an equivalent to the desktop. Developers will next month see the first MID-specific OS -- a tweak of China's RedFlag Linux known as RedFlag MIDINUX -- while the IDF schedule itself includes a stream of ultra mobile sessions including one on Designing for Linux-based mobile Internet devices.'"

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Linux? (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765889)

Linux powered? What happenned to Microsoft's origami [slashdot.org] .

HAHAHAHAHA! I guess intel saw how craptacular MS's other embedded devices were (think mobile phones) and decided to go their own way....

Oh - and what you all came to the comments to get (wtf link to a zdnet blog anyway?) a link to a gallery of pics [engadget.com] . It looks surprisingly nice.

ii iii iiiii iiiii iiiiiPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766209)

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiPhone !!!!!

Accepta no subs.

Re:ii iii iiiii iiiii iiiiiPhone (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766241)

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiPhone !!!!!

?

Does the iphone have a 4"-6" screen? Perhaps these devices are aiming at different markets/uses? Perhaps you're a fucking retard?

Re:ii iii iiiii iiiii iiiiiPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767303)

Perhaps you should take Steve Jobs penis out of your rectum and STFU and GBTW!

Re:Linux? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766897)

What happenned to Microsoft's origami.

Origami was an interesting idea that was waaaaay too expensive.

Look at Nokia's N800 [nseries.com] for an Origami-like device at a much better price point. Fewer features, better price and it looks like it's selling ok.

If Intel can come out with their "Mobile Internet Device" for around $400 or less, they might have something.

Intel - Red Flag? (1)

Thomas the Doubter (1016806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18776631)

I guess hell has frozen over. Mao is ice-skating.

Late April Fool's? (-1, Flamebait)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765909)

Come on Intel, isn't it a bit late for an April Fool's Joke?

Unless they charge out the ass for this thing, I can't see how they'd be able to sell enough units to even cover the R&D costs.

Re:Late April Fool's? (3, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765989)

Unless they charge out the ass for this thing, I can't see how they'd be able to sell enough units to even cover the R&D costs.

Are you MAD? Have you seen what Ultra Mobile Computing can do? [youtube.com] (for maximum comic effect, check out the UI in the lastish sequence with the two girls going to the party).

But seriously, I suspect from red flag being the software partner that the target market is Chinese - not you.

That said tho', I'd love to have one if they're anything near as nice as they look....

Re:Late April Fool's? (-1, Troll)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766531)

What is being led frag rinux?

Re:Late April Fool's? (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766007)

I don't see much R&D going into it, just engineering improvements (i.e. smaller stuff) of existing technology. Most of the real work will be creating a good UI.

Re:Late April Fool's? (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767117)

All R&D could be summarized as either:
"Just the hardware" or
"Just the software"
Hardware engineering isn't trivial, particularly in portable electronics where you have to weigh up battery life, form factor, robustness...

VoIP Phone (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765919)

If it doesn't have the horsepower, bandwidth, battery life and mic/speaker (Bluetooth) to function as a VoIP terminal, then no one will want to learn any new skills to use it, or carry around something that smartphones already beat. But if it does, then the entry of Intel into both the PDA and Linux markets, even just as a reference platform, will be very welcome. Even if it just gives Intel the feedback it needs to better tailor components for other vendors into those markets.

Get a life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766265)

And stop posting 30 times a day.

Seriously, you're pathetic.

Re:Get a life (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766701)

Anonymous fuckup Coward has nothing to teach about getting a life when they have nothing better to do than wasting time posting fake concern. You're a jocksniffer.

It needs all this stuff to succeed (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766371)

Sure, to be a success in the market it needs some of the stuff you write about.

But success or not if it looks like the picture I'll buy several. Especially if it can command USB peripherals.

Re:It needs all this stuff to succeed (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767127)

It's true: having a USB master in a small, mobile device running Linux is valuable. Even Treos are themselves USB slaves, so they can't use USB peripherals. I looked for years for a USB hub with a master controller, which never arrived. If I want my Pilot to use a cheap USB webcam, I'm SOL. But one of these could do the trick. If only it would cost $100 - maybe in 5 years this original model will.

Re:It needs all this stuff to succeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18771827)

I'd just like to be able to buy a PCI card that is a USB slave.

Re:It needs all this stuff to succeed (1)

zerkon (838861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18775269)

Nokia 770 can be placed into USB host mode if you know how, but it costs a bit more than $100 :-) maybe now that the 880s or whatever they're calling it are out the price will come down a little

Re:VoIP Phone (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767561)

It all depends on price.

A product's potential to become revolutionary, evolutionary or extinct cannot be separated from its price.

The Newton, while arguably too big, was certainly too expensive to take the world by storm. The Palm was much less ambitious but priced right. Two way pagers were popular for a long time because their cheapness relative to mobile phones created an application niche for them. Now that the scale of mobile phone adoption has tilted the table in that direction, people are more likely to go with SMS.

If this device were cheaper than a mobile phone to buy, and the service was cheaper, then there is no question it would have legs, despite any limitations it might have. If it's more expensive either way, then people will hook PDAs or laptops up to their phones via BlueTooth. They may fail because their service is crap or because BlueTooth is so squirrely for ordinary people to deal with, but they aren't going to pay more for something they could theoretically have for less.

This suggests a device like this needs to have two things to succeed: It must be priced less than any other way of getting the same thing accomplished and it must be at least barely usable for its intended audience. Greater usability at a higher price is not a recipe for success, nor is unusability at a lower price (although it may spoil adoption of a higher priced gizmos).

Re:VoIP Phone (1)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18768545)

or because BlueTooth is so squirrely for ordinary people to deal with

I don't know about you, but my experience with Bluetooth is that is squirrely for *anyone* do deal with. I've got a Samsung SPH-m610, a MacBook, and a Nokia 770, and Bluetooth is pathetic on all three of these units. I've even tried the MacBook with both Mac OS X and Windows, and it makes little difference. Bluetooth, in my experience, has been craptacular.

Every time I try to pair from the MacBook to the phone under Mac OS X, it crashes the phone. Every time I try to pair from the 770 to the phone, the 770 never completes the transaction. Every time one of these devices powers off, they have to be re-paired. I can eventually, with some calisthenics, get connections to work, but it's never easy, never seamless, and never fully functional.

Re:VoIP Phone (1)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18769635)

I forgot to mention that I also have a Samsung WEP200 headset. The headset is the only device I have that seems to work correctly. It pairs with the phone and my MacBook with no problems, and the pairing is retained through power cycles.

Re:VoIP Phone (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772773)

>If it doesn't have the horsepower

TFA says it's going to have dual core CPUs at 600-800 MHz. Sounds good enough to me, and with modern processes those CPUs should use very little power.

Poor old modding community (5, Funny)

pzs (857406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765935)

What about those psycho people who spend all their lives getting Linux installed on their XBox/router/phone/wrist-watch? It's bit dull if it already runs Linux.

Maybe they'll try and install Windows on it instead.

Peter

Re:Poor old modding community (3, Insightful)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766009)

What about those psycho people who spend all their lives getting Linux installed on their XBox/router/phone/wrist-watch? It's bit dull if it already runs Linux.

Don't wary for us. Instead of that funny intel chinese redflag midinux I will surely install hardened gentoo on it.

Re:Poor old modding community (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772031)

Mine will run DOS.

here we go again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18765951)

anyone who's just as tired as I am of "words" like 'prosumer', please tag this article marketingspeech.

Nokia's Internet Tablets' Hildon UI too (4, Informative)

Jaffa (7714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765953)

It's also using the Hildon GTK+-based libraries for a user interface which form the most user-visible part of Maemo [maemo.org] - the Linux base which Nokia is using in their 770 and N800 Internet Tablets. Those have the advantage of using ARM processors, rather than chunky x86 ones meaning standby/resume is not something you need as the power consumption is that much lower. Interesting times.

Re:Nokia's Internet Tablets' Hildon UI too (3, Informative)

tincho_uy (566438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766327)

Yes, but the Nokia tablets don't offer HSDPA, or any other GSM conectivity option, for that matter. It'll be interesting to see what one can do with this little device...

Re:Nokia's Internet Tablets' Hildon UI too (3, Interesting)

Torbjrn (1956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767051)

Why would you want built in GSM/HSPDA?

Presumably you will have your cellphone with you anyway and its connection can be used via bluetooth.

Some advantages of not having a HSPDA radio in the tablet:
* The cellphone allready have the account for the connection so you will not need another for the tablet.
* Battery life of the tablet will not be drained by the connection.
* Cost and size can be kept down
* The tablet does not need to be as extensively certified as a GSM/HSPDA phone.

The only downside is that Bluetooth currently maxes out at 2.1 Mbps and the HSPDA networks are getting above that. But frankly 2.1 Mbps should be enough for what you will do on these tablets.

Re:Nokia's Internet Tablets' Hildon UI too (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772155)

All very logical. And I personally have always disliked the idea of making the cell phone into a universal information appliance. But the sad fact is that few consumers (and prosumers? do prosuming prosumers boost the epromany?) will consider putting a second electronic widget in their pocket. I myself have 3 (PDA, phone, MP3 player; and I'm thinking of getting a separate mini-digicam, 'cause the phone cams suck), but people like me are not a target demo for anything.

Re:Nokia's Internet Tablets' Hildon UI too (1)

Torbjrn (1956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18773173)

Normally I would agree with you.
I'm all for combining as much as possible into the phone.

But in this case we are talking about something that by necessity is too large for carrying arround every day in your pocket. What makes these things better than a smartphone is the big screen and until someone actually makes the rollable screens we have been tempted with by scifi movies for decades now, the device can't be smaller than the screen.

I look forward to the day when I can combine that feature in the phone too though.

Interesting (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765959)

I wonder how locked-down the device will be? Since it's using Linux, I hope they'd be smart enough to only lock it down enough that the non-tech consumers don't hurt themselves. I'd love to have a version of Ubuntu on it, instead of the Midinux that they've developed.

Truly, though, as long as I can write my own programs for it, I'd run whatever linux variant that I had to.

A 6" screen and dual-core 800Mhz? Very nice.

The bad part? "next year's release of the products." NOW. WANT NOW.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

chrism238 (657741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766197)

Ubuntu for you - why? Wy would you prefer a Linux distribution currently targetted for desktop and laptop machines over one specifically targetted for the small form-factor and low-power consumption marketplace? Some biases, or comfort zones, need to be overcome when changing technologies.

Device drivers... (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766211)

Some how I think its fairly unlikely that this is a vanilla PC platform running a standard set of hardware for which Ubuntu has all of the device drivers available. The finger interface for instance is liable to be fairly specific.

This truly is the proof however that the Slashdot crowd will never be truly happy. No more is it "I'll just rip OSX/Windows/etc and replace it with Linux"... no the Slashdot folks aren't even happy when it is ALREADY RUNNING LINUX, they want their own favourite distro. I can almost imagine if they'd said Ubuntu that people would have been arguing about the version number.

Re:Device drivers... (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766405)

Um, yeah, actually, I -would- want to make sure the latest Ubuntu would run. Imagine that.

And why would it not have the drivers? If Midinux has the drivers, there's nothing stopping Ubuntu/Gentoo/DSL/etc from having them also.

Truth be told, it's not Ubuntu that I want, but Kubuntu. I like a lot of the stuff that KDE has like KIO slaves, and I like the attitude of the Ubuntu distro people. They have a tendency to run their distro like I'd want if I were there, and I tend to stick to it.

It's not 'the Slashdot crowd' anyhow, it's the entire human race that will never be truly happy. If we could be, we wouldn't be where we are today, and we certainly wouldn't continue striving for better all the time. If you aren't happy being part of the human race, maybe you should consider other options? (That's a joke, for all you idiots out there that don't have a sense of humor. You know who you are.)

Re:Device drivers... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767059)

No more is it "I'll just rip OSX/Windows/etc and replace it with Linux"... no the Slashdot folks aren't even happy when it is ALREADY RUNNING LINUX, they want their own favourite distro.

And what's wrong with that?

The mere possibility of changing the distro for whichever reason is one of the points of the whole thing.

Linux users often are tinkerers... at least the /. crowd. And we don't like things that are locked down.

And don't worry: even if it ran my favourite distro (i.e. Gentoo), I'd still want to tweak it. For instance, try to exchange Gnome with E17.

Virginia Tech Shooting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18765971)

It is really disgusting how the anti-gun crowd is jumping on this tragedy and using it for their own purpose. The NRA has a short and simple message and isn't trying to spin anything. Oh but the anti-gunners are! They want you to believe that the shooting would have never happened if the guns were not legal. Sorry, but that is BULLSHIT. Their solution to everything is to disarm everyone and make everyone a victim. Forget that noise.

Re:Virginia Tech Shooting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766115)

Gun control nazis are grasping at straws now. They know that their fight is all but lost anyway so nothing is off limits. If they need to hit below the belt, then damn straight they will.

It is so stupid how liberals can bleed their heart over all of our civil rights EXCEPT for the right to keep and bear arms.

Re:Virginia Tech Shooting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766199)

Fuck it. I say we give (No, force!) every person over the age of 16 to carry a fully loaded rocket launcher and at least two grenades. Naturally the SWAT teams will get small tactical nuclear shells for crowd control. We'll have no crime at all, ever.

Re:Virginia Tech Shooting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766483)

Well, there may be some unpredictable transient effects at the beginning, but we'll very quickly reach a crime-free steady state.

is this Maemo? (2, Interesting)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765973)

All these screenshots look strikenly similar to those from the Nokia N800 built with the Maemo platform.
I hope maemo catches up and that they get some more developpers working on that framewaork

"prosumers"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18765975)

"prosumers"... oh... WTFOMGBBQ... what kind of new buzzword is that now?

consumers that are less stupid than the rest are "prosumers"?

If getting older means getting out of touch with stuff you use buzzwords for then I need to get older very fast...

Nokia 770 anyone? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765977)

This thing seems to be simply an intel iteration of the 770. I love mine and with the right apps is very finger navigable.

If they hit the $199 pricepoint they will be a success. If they aim for the current pricing of the new N800 they will lose big time.

Re:Nokia 770 anyone? (3, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766225)

$199 would definitely be nice but MP3 players are more expensive than that. And this thing is so much more than an MP3 player. I doubt anything below $350-400. But yes, I agree - full-blown but inexpensive PDAs are way overdue (and these things are basically PDAs, of course).

Actually, I disagree... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18769667)

... and these things are basically PDAs...

I'm not so sure I agree. Look at how the Nokia N800 is being marketed. It's being marketed as a portable internet device.

That said, there are developers out there putting out things like GPE for PIM functionality, which is good. It's nice to see developers write software otherwise not found, but I would look at it more as something made for a primary purpose, much like the Archos PMPs... there are other apps you can load on the devices, but their primary use is to play media.

Re:Nokia 770 anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766391)

Nokia 770 / N800 are great devices, but unfortunately Nokia does not understand how to treat software platform. They are abandoning these devices after ~1 year, when new version comes out and try to force everyone to buy new one.

If Intel will respect it's customers and offer real openness or several year support for OS, they have a winner in their hands. Having full and easy access to internet in your pocket all the time is something I don't want to go back from.

Re:Nokia 770 anyone? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766557)

As I have previously paid $400 for a PDA that has a 3.8" screen and not nearly as much hardware behind it, I don't have any problem spending $400 for this device... Or even $600 or $800, if it's amazing enough.

I'd been considering the ModBook (Apple-based, third party tablet pc) at $2800, but I just don't have enough use for it. This would do most of what I'd want the ModBook to do, and at quite a lot lower price.

Nokia's stuff is interesting, but at only 320Mhz, it doesn't do what I want and isn't enough better than my current PDA to bother getting.

beavis & butthead moment (3, Funny)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18765981)

"finger-friendly"... heheheh... uh.. heheheheheheheh!

Consumer instead of Professional device (1)

hotsauce (514237) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766015)

So, it seems to be competing in the iPhone space. Except it isn't a phone. And in the "entertainment" category, it can't connect to the most popular music site. It's got "web-based office applications", but consumers don't care about that. Which consumer is supposed to want this device?

Re:Consumer instead of Professional device (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766561)

I've been looking for something of this nature for wardriving. I can't tell just from the article whether or not it has everything I want, or if the price is low enough, but I think it's worth looking at.

Re:Consumer instead of Professional device (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766633)

So, it seems to be competing in the iPhone space. Except it isn't a phone. And in the "entertainment" category, it can't connect to the most popular music site. It's got "web-based office applications", but consumers don't care about that. Which consumer is supposed to want this device?

Someone like me, who finds a laptop too cumbersome to carry around on a regular basis and wants available wireless internet access where available. If a device can mix together multimedia/internet capabilities that takes care of 90% of what I use a computer for. If I can get all of that on the go without using a laptop, that'll be fantastic. It will replace MP3 players IMO instead of replacing laptops, albeit with more features.

Re:Consumer instead of Professional device (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772959)

>So, it seems to be competing in the iPhone space. Except it isn't a phone.

How hard will it be for Intel to integrate a GSM or WiMax transceiver and an antenna, assuming it has a speaker and microphone already?
Maybe it's a good idea to demonstrate usability as a PDA first and put in the phone later. The other way around often hasn't worked well.

Alternative (4, Interesting)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766109)

Personally, I will be purchasing the Neo-1973 [linuxdevices.com] mobile device that is currently in development. It will be built on the new OpenMoko [openmoko.org] open-source platform and is scheduled to hit the market in September this year.

No Wireless tho' (1)

nodrog (31300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18789361)

I really like the look of the Neo 1973, but the fact it doesn't have Wifi is a dealbreaker for me, and i'd guess for a lot of the enthusiast market they are after.

It is an obvously good idea... (2, Interesting)

maxm (20632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766191)

My Son has a PSP and it is really nice. But I would not dream of buying one for myself due to its closed nature. But a Linux device to carry around, to avoid lugging the laptop is a great concept. Playing games, reading books, and viewing media. Reading cooking recipes in the kitchen etc. There are so many uses for a device like that.

I want one ... if the price is right.

Re:It is an obvously good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766861)

My Son
You're Jesus' dad? Hey, our boys are on the same ball team. So, what line of work are you in?

Re:It is an obvously good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767491)

Sounds like you're looking for a GP2X.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gp2x/ [wikipedia.org]

Consumer I know (1)

Quzak (1047922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766205)

But what is a Prosumer?

Re:Consumer I know (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766395)

But what is a Prosumer?

What you get when you cross a consumer with a prositute.

You see prosumer is the code word for consumers who're are whores for new & expensive products. It's a polite way of saying 'stupid early adopter'.

Re:Consumer I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18808215)

Ohh. I always thought it was a sumo wrestling prostitute.

Re:Consumer I know (1)

ribuck (943217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766399)

A prosumer is someone prepared to pay big money for well-specified equipment. A prosumer camera, for example, will have more pixels and more features but will also cost disproportionately more.

Re:Consumer I know (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18771609)

think a Professional with out a job or a Consumer that could be a Professional (marketings worst nightmare)

All I want from such a device are... (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766207)

Here is my list of features:

  • SSL-capable IMAP and SMTP client;
  • SSH-client

Ability to play audio and video is optional — as is the ability to make phone calls. If they figure out, how to make reasonably fast IP-over-cellular, I'll buy it — and for a good price (not that of a phone/player, but for that of a laptop)...

Re:All I want from such a device are... (2, Interesting)

iperkins (974060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18768847)

A port of rdesktop or some flavor of VNC would be incredibly useful as well. SSH is a must.

Re:All I want from such a device are... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772227)

SSH-client
You want to use this thing to access a command line???!!! Boy, are you not in their target demo!

Obligatory (3, Funny)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766307)

Yeah, but will it run Lin... eh nevermind.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766903)

cute that it runs Linux but is it actually *usable* and does it have application compatibility.

ORB does all my work for me and have plenty of applications to use for useful purpose on my 8125 and 8525.

I think this looks like a crappy mobile device and usually the first generation do suck

This Sounds Like a Winner (1)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766335)

This sounds like butter to me, especially since most manufacturers are running away very fast from the PDA market and just building stupid smartphones and crippled pieces of garbage instead of real PDA's. Dell quit making the x50v and x51v, HP/Compaq are producing nothing but crap QVGA "media companions," and nobody else makes a decent PDA that doesn't have a damn cell phone built into it. But first we have to see if this gizmo ever makes it to market.

But, what does it do? (2)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766431)

It can not succeed as "just another tech-toy" it has to meet a need. That is where the linked articl was very thin. Will it replace my Pocket PC and is it better? Just running Linux is not enough.

Problem (-1, Redundant)

bubbl07 (777082) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766449)

That's great, but does it run Linux?

Oh wait...

It looks cheesy (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766585)

Curved white and red plastic? Why can't they release a sleek looking metallic or carbon fiber one?

Re:It looks cheesy (1)

nowhere.elysium (924845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772189)

because they're saving that for the 'premium edition' - intel won't have ventured too far from microsoft's marketing approach yet.
the 'ultimate edition' will have a case made from some expensive, flashy, but heavy (and soft) metal, such as gold. probably monogrammed with that horrible louis vitton thing, too. ick. plastic may look crap, but it's easily customisable.

Yes, it's all about size. (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766611)

I think we're finally getting closer to what I have been wanting all along: A PDA-like device with a decent screen. I'm a long-time proponent of PDA's, having owned numerous models since the Pilot 1000 over a decade ago, and the one thing that has annoyed me about the latest offerings is the limited screen size. The form factors are slick and usable, specifically noting the old Palm Vx, the Palm Z22, and the Palm TX, but they all share one thing in common: The screen displays only a small fraction of a "regular" page.

My dream device is one that uses a thin rugged design, has LONG battery life, provides effective finger or stylus input, has a screen that is readable in bright sunlight, provides a large enough screen to provide really productive information access, and is small enough to fit in a typical cargo-pants pocket. Front-pocketable or shirt-pocketable sizes are nice, but really make the viewing area too small. Go larger than a cargo-pants pocket size, and you can't easily take it with you everywhere.

Let's hope that the larger tablet form factor catches on.

Re:Yes, it's all about size. (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772269)

My dream device is one that uses a thin rugged design, has LONG battery life, provides effective finger or stylus input, has a screen that is readable in bright sunlight, provides a large enough screen to provide really productive information access, and is small enough to fit in a typical cargo-pants pocket.
Here you go [engadget.com] .

Re:Yes, it's all about size. (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772901)

The Sony Reader's form factor is pretty much what I'm looking for, but if I read the specs correctly, it only does "reading"--no PIM functions, no wireless, etc. And the UI appears to be controlled with the buttons only--no stylus or fingertip "on-screen" interaction.

Pull all THOSE features together in the Sony form factor, and I'd buy it.

Re:Yes, it's all about size. (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18773039)

PIM functions? You didn't mention PIM functions!

Yeah, I know, it's sort of implicit. But I couldn't resist...

Re:Yes, it's all about size. (1)

$1uck (710826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772785)

How about a DS lite? with an r4ds card or something similar? Two screens, wifi, nice touch interface. If you could get a gps device to plug into the gba slot it would be really nice.

Why RedFlag? (1)

widhalmt (1053294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766889)

Did anyone find any hint why they, over all, chose RedFlag Linux to derivate their Software from?

Re:Why RedFlag? (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 7 years ago | (#18778607)

I can only assume that they chose this since it will be pre-announced at the IDF in china, as the story said.

It's far more likely that for a US version they will try to get something redhattish, suseish or possibly ubuntuish instead. (oh wait, redflag is redhattish..)

now to all MS fanboys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766895)

Why did the "intel" part of "wintel" choose to release such a device running Linux?

What is the real reason behind not putting Windows CE?

Is it because of cost? If so I'm very worried for MS.

Is it because of perfs (and hence battery life)?

Is it because of security issues?

In all the threads we've got to endlessly read about how much MS is a player to fear, about how it will illegaly abuse its monopoly to enter new market etc. Now, how comes that Intel device shall run Linux?

Does Linux exist after all?

On one side there's Sun that recently bought SavaJe (an minimal "JavaOS", where apps cannot be "native"... only Java apps) and Java (Micro edition) is installed of hundreds of millions of devices (and the game and app market is booming, with mobile game sales representing nearly 20% of all games sold), on the other side we now have got Intel releasing a Linux device. Where the f*ck is MS and do they plan to fight: Google, Sun, IBM, Nokia, etc. ?

Nokia N800 (2, Interesting)

GayBliss (544986) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767479)

I love my Nokia N800, and I really think there is going to be a huge market for these types of devices. Especially if WiMAX [wikipedia.org] ever takes off. I think typical cell phones are worthless for general internet usage, but the Nokia N800 is very usable for normal web pages. I can watch videos from YouTube on it (although not quite flawlessly, it needs just a bit more speed), and use all my favorite websites quite well. I can ssh into my home machine and with VNC I get my entire desktop from my Linux box right on the Nokia screen and it looks fantastic (and is usable). Skype is supposed to be released for it in a couple of months, which will really be great since it will then become a mobile video phone. Once WiMAX is put into use, these types of devices are going to really take off since it will mean internet access everywhere. No need to hunt down a hotspot.

I for one (2, Funny)

vorlich (972710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767529)

would like to welcome our new, improved, prosumer-friendly, linux-powered, intel-device sort-of-pda-thingy, finger-friendly overlords.

Re:I for one (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18772305)

Get a life.

But, can I install Linux on it? (1)

hedora (864583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18770737)

or, will it be like the TiVo, and prevent the end user from replacing the kernel?

If you can recompile and replace all the important parts of the OS (kernel, X, Gnome, touchscreen drivers...), then it's a viable competitor to the FIC Neo in my book. Otherwise, I'm worried the phone companies will get their hands on this thing and cripple it. :(

Also, why is some of the bundled software proprietary? That's so 1999...

Still, if it lets you install your own C software, it's a huge step forward. I'll be paying attention to this one.

Re:But, can I install Linux on it? (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 7 years ago | (#18778629)

first, I doubt that they will prevent you from loading your own kernel. Intel isn't TiVo you know.

but:

> Also, why is some of the bundled software proprietary? That's so 1999...

what's wrong with that? closed source software is an excellent way to get a platform started and make it economically viable for the future (look at the IBM PC ;)).

almost all of the software I've seen in the demo's are open source or replaceable by better open source software. You can choose now to use the closed source app or whatever you prefer. Sounds like an OK deal to me.

Re:But, can I install Linux on it? (1)

hedora (864583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792895)

Including closed source software on a Linux device is dangerous.

If the device is unusable without the proprietary software, then it's difficult or expensive to customize. You lose the benefits of open source software, and scare off developers. Customization is the main competitive advantage Linux devices have over other products. It's always a shame when device manufacturers don't get that, and try to control the software stack or lock down the hardware.

It's one thing if they ship it with a binary-only flash player; it's quite another if they ship with (for example) a proprietary, undocumented GUI toolkit. (This one uses Gnome, which is a good sign!)

Anyway, Intel' is in the hardware business, so they may as well give the source code away as long as it helps them sell more devices. I'm happy to hear the demos suggest this is an open platform. ;)

you Fail It. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18771133)

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