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Can REDFLY sell in an EeePC market?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the how-it-feels-to-be-a-fembot-living-in-a-manbot's-manputer's-world dept.

Portables 132

palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) writes "I was lucky enough to get a chance to evaluate an early beta of the REDFLY device and just posted some initial impressions at ZDNet. As a person who commutes on the train 2 hours every day and usually always has a Windows Mobile device in tow, this is actually a perfect device for me; real productivity is possible with text entry and enjoy surfing on a larger display. However, at $500 can this device really compete in the Asus EeePC market or will it die like the Palm Foleo?"

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132 comments

well (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797180)

it costs more than the eee pc and has less funtionality. I'm thinking no. As someone who has a windows mobile phone provided by my employer let me just say that they suck. They are slow, buggy and make for a terrible phone and a nearly as bad pda. How they ever came to be more prevalent than palm - I don't know- the ease of using with exchange maybe? I really don't know because everyone I know who has one (my whole team of 9 people and many others in my department) hates it. The company provides them so we use them, but seriously - they are awful. So spending 500 bucks to get a little bit bigger screen and keyboard doesn't really sound like a great idea to me.

Re:well (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797226)

As a Palm user, I gotta say that Palm got itself in the mess its in... Sad

Complacency does that to you...

Re:well (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797240)

How they ever came to be more prevalent than palm - I don't know- the ease of using with exchange maybe?

I think it has more to do with a lack of updates from Palm. They effectively stood still for so long that hardware finally reached a point where WinCE could be run at a reasonable speed. When device makers looked at the (non-existent) multimedia features of PalmOS and the (competent) multimedia features of WinCE, they chose WinCE almost by default.

Now if Cobalt had been pushed out the door, maybe things would have been different. But instead, Cobalt sits on the shelf with not a single device maker using it. Not even Palm hardware.

Yep (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798428)

Palm made the often fatal mistake of resting on their laurels because they were the top dog. This is a bad idea in business in general, but a particular bad idea if Microsoft is after your market. For whatever else you want to say about Microsoft, they are highly tenacious. If they believe there is a market they can compete in, they just keep trying. Many companies will roll out an unsuccessful product and go "Oh well, guess we can't compete," and pack up and leave that market alone. MS doesn't do that, they ask "What do we need to fix?" and then try again, and again, and again.

So sure, when Windows CE first came out, I can see how Palm thought it was laughable because it was. The problem comes from assuming that is all MS will ever put out. Well, no. With each version they learned more about what they needed to do. Pretty soon CE had surpassed PalmOS and Palm was scrambling to catch up.

In business in general you can't just sit stagnant and assume nobody will surpass you, but when MS enters the market that is particularly true. They have numerous times released a product that was quite poor in its first version, only to continue to refine it to the point that it surpasses it's competition.

Re:well (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799098)

Having worked in the field, I have a slightly different perspective.

It was never the case that slow hardware plagued Microsoft's PDA offerings. The problem is that the use-case models (if there were any) for the Pocket PC user interface were absurd. They have a kind of "desktop replacement" mentality; yet to the degree something is convenient to carry in your pocket, it is awkward as a general purpose computing device (with an interface mimicking a desktop no less). And vice versa.

It is the badness of the Windows Mobile interfaces, coupled with the excessive bulk of the early WinCE PDAs that made them crap. It was a cascade of bad consequences, all starting with the attempt to be good at everything: to give a desktop-y kind of experience, you needed lots of pixels, and those pixels had to be color and they had to come cheap, so you ended up with a large device with a big honking battery to drive the backlight through the cheap lcd. It's the hi-res displays and the high capacity batteries that make modern Windows Mobile PDAs tolerable. Not the CPU speed.

Palm, in its heyday, created a niche product that was convenient to carry, and performed in a few limited roles very well. Think about this: that very same description also fits Apple's iPod. Now, there were people like me who exploited the fact that Palm was a platform, and made a nice living off it for a while. We could define new roles for the device.

It is true Palm made some mistakes, but the idea that they failed to make a spiffy enough OS is a myth. The real problem is that the PDA niche became unprofitable as prices dropped. Most who had a Palm V would probably be happy with one today -- if it cost about $35. But that's not the kind of thing Palm sells; they sell stuff in the 200-$500 range. So, they began to add spiffiness to their products, spiffiness that their users neither needed, nor wanted, but was mandated by the price range they wanted to occupy. So they blurred the distinction between PalmOS and PocketPC by becoming more PocketPC like.

In the end, it was not so much a case of Palm moving too slowly, as not having a very good place to move towards, other than into smart phones.

In smart phones, business friendliness continues to be a weak spot for Palm and a marketing strength for Microsoft. But Microsoft isn't as dominant as people here seem to think. It is the carriers rule the smart phone market, not Microsoft. I see the smart phone as only an interim solution, not because PDA functions need to be liberated from a phone, but vice versa. We're in a state of incredible flux at present, with categories of mobile devices multiplying rapidly, and the boundaries of those categories being very fuzzy.

Re:well (2, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797308)

You don't market phone OS to users -- you market it to cellular carriers.

That explains it. (2, Interesting)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797466)

Cellular carriers, you mean ATT - that little company that did not want people using 300 baud modems? That would explain everthing about the US market but iPhone. Even iPhone is understandable when you hear about multiple thousand dollar "data" bills.

Re:That explains it. (4, Informative)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797950)

I don't like AT&T that much, but I do have an iPhone with them and the data plan is $20 a month for unlimited EDGE. Not sure where the

multiple thousand dollar "data" bills
idea came from, but I don't think that's the way iPhone contracts work.

Re:That explains it. (1)

kfort (1132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798040)

the story was about international roaming charges

and "slamming" (1)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798578)

though slamming plans without user consent only results in bills with multiple hundred dollar charges, it's a common fraud. The provider changes your plan based on your usage to maximize their profits. Given their access to records and other tools you don't have, this is a rip off even when they call and ask in advance. The iPhone offers more services and more chances of doing that.

The "unlimited" EDGE plan was created in response to a lot of bad press about huge bills. That's a good change but it hardly amounts to a good deal per byte. The plan slam to accompany the service would be to call the customer and tell them they could save money by not using the all you can eat plan. Such calls should be regarded with great scepticism - no company would really call customers to tell them to buy less of their services.

Re:and "slamming" (2, Informative)

DeepZenPill (585656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799342)

The "unlimited" EDGE plan was created in response to a lot of bad press about huge bills.
This is not true, if in reference to the iPhone plan. There are 3 tiers of service for iPhone users, all of which have unlimited EDGE and always have.

Re:and "slamming" (1)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799436)

I could be wrong about iPhone because I don't have one. There is no doubt about international rates or slamming by ATT.

Re:That explains it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22798964)

The original iPhone 1.0 software didn't have a way to turn off e-mail checking when you were roaming. Americans traveling in Europe found out the hard way when all those half-hourly pings back to the IMAP server added up to a massive bill for international roaming charges.

Apple added a setting to turn that off (Settings/General/Network/Data Roaming) in the 1.1 update. (I think it was 1.1. I know I have it in 1.1.4.)

Re:well (1)

Boron55 (1060136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797366)

Not to start a fanbois war here, but you did not say what Windows Mobile phone you complain about. Personally, I have BlackJack II and I love it. Plenty of RAM (256 MB RAM, 128 MB ROM), Windows Mobile 6, 2 GB microSD card, 3G Internet, hardware GPS and full QWERTY keyboard. Plenty of Office applications included. There is no touchscreen, but I can live with that. The phone (red variant) even looks great!

I agree that most of Windows Mobile devices are slow, but this one looks like a good compromise to me. I use it as work PDA, otherwise I would have got an iPhone or smth. fancy.

I would say that all those conversations of "whose device is bigger" do not make much sense. It all depends on the tasks you are going to implement on the device, your habits and your preferences.

What I like Windows Mobile devices for,are:

1. Integration with Office apps, Exchange and such.

2. Plenty of applications on the market, many of them are free.

3. Ability to write your applications. I use Visual Studio 2005 to complie my small apps for Windows Mobile, and I am the happiest camper. No limitations, ease of test and deployment: just click "run on device" and that's it! I believe Java programmers can say the same thing about Blackberry.

So guys, back to the point: I think Eee PC has the ability to become a cult device (just like iSomething did), and this will contribute more to the market success, than compatitor's features. Otherwise there are plenty of nice gadgets on the market (Sharp Zaurus is one of the good examples).

Just my 2 cents.

Re:well (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797584)

I have a Sprint ppc-6700. Windows mobile 5, 128 meg of sdram and I've got a 2 gig mini sd card in it. Battery life sucks. I'm lucky to get 8 hours out of it, if I don't talk to anyone. Waiting for apps to load is painfully slow. I have to 'reboot' it more than once a day. More than once I've had an inbound call, I'm clicking the button to take it over and over but the phone is hung up - need to reboot and call them back.

The phone itself is junk but I'm trying to focus primarily on the problems with windows mobile. Prior to this I was a palm user and had become accustomed to a snappy, quick experience from a pda. I was also not used to things crashing all the time.

evdo is nice - it is easy to develop with VS. I like MS Reader. But it sucks to use without a stylus, almost always requires using both hands - even to make calls and is unreliable to the point that I often want to toss it.

Re:well (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797758)

I think this illustrates the GP's point perfectly. I too have a WinMo device on Sprint (a Moto Q9c), but with pretty much the exact opposite experience. It has all the features I could want, battery lasts 1.5 days under normal (for me) data/video/talk usage, etc. The size of the phone and layout of the screen and keyboard allow me to easily use it with one hand if I want. The only problem I've had is Windows can be a little sluggish at times, but it's a pretty infrequent occurrence for me.

The best part is the volume of 3rd party apps to tweak pretty much whatever you want.

Re:well (1)

wmwilson01 (912533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799632)

I agree. I just went from a PPC-6700 to the Q9c and it's been soooo much nicer. The 6700 was just ridiculous; the battery life was so bad that I could take it off of the charger and a 30 minute call would end it. The Q9c is worlds better. I sort of wish I'd gone with the iPhone, but my contract with Sprint is $35 for more than you get on the $60 AT&T contract, and my phone has a GPS, EV-DO, Wi-Fi if I want it, a mini-SD slot, and more. We'll see what happens in a year or two. Maybe android will save us all.

Re:well (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798078)

The 6700 was a horrible POS smartphone. HTC didn't do a damn thing to fix most of the problems with the hardware or OS settings that were needed to work with that hardware properly. The "Mogul" (PPC6800) is a *little* better, but it's still problematic.

Have a look at the WM5 Treo to see what a quasi-properly set up smartphone should be.

Re:well (1)

martinQblank (1138267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800990)

Really? I've got the same phone and I can get 2+ days battery life out of it if I don't talk to anyone -- and that's with it paired with my bluetooth headset. I also only have to 'hard' reboot it about once a week (which, I must admit is WAY too often for what is effectively a souped up phone). Of course, when my phone crashes, it crashes hard and I have to pop the battery out to start over. While I'm not a huge fan of Win Mobile 5 or the ppc-6700, I have had different experiences than you.

All that aside I think the phone/pda market has a long way to go before they hit my ideal version of a product.

Re:well (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797464)

Get a blackberry and be done with it. The latest devices and OS code offer adequate to good multimedia support, lots of the nicey nice cute crap (MP3 ringtones, custom skins, etc.), along with the full blackberry functionality.

Blackberry needs two things and then i'll be out of complaints entirely: 1) HTML email (i mean, c'mon already) 2) improved browser

Neither is a show-stopper. I have a company provided BB...well i have about 7 of them being the Desktop Manager...and use it for my personal cell as well. If i won lotto and retired tomorrow i'd still keep a BB (8320 curve to be specific).

Re:well (1)

rho (6063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798108)

I'm using BBSmart's Email Viewer, and it works pretty well. Worth the $24 IMO. There's another that's only $10, but BBSmart's had good reviews. Annoying to spend $24 on something so simple? Sure. But then again, it's just $24.

I don't have much trouble with the Internet Browser on the BB Curve (8320). It works well enough. My biggest problem is my flakey wifi access point.

The BB Curve is a good device. Now if only there were a decent text editor...

Re:well (1)

jp10558 (748604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798926)

Does Opera Mobile work on the blackberry? I would think that would be about as good as you'll get on there.

Re:well (3, Insightful)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797482)

it costs more than the eee pc and has less funtionality. I'm thinking no.
I agree. Such a machine ties me to WinCE, which means stripped-down versions of .NET, SQL Server, IE, MS-Office--and nothing else. USB support will be limited to the 5 devices that WinCE supports out of the box. (Who writes WinCE USB drivers for their devices?)

With the multitude of super-subnotebooks out there that can run a real OS (WinXP, Linux) with real applications that don't require a "host PC" (even my Toshiba Libretto 110CT with 64MB RAM from 1998 has more potential than this pice of junk), and given the eeePC + XP-Home costs the same as this, what is the market for such a machine at this price??? Cut the price in half and it might be worth talking about...

Re:well (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798366)

Amen to the Libretto 110CT. Mine runs Gentoo (slowly), so I can connect with a normal WiFi card to any access point and use Mutt to check mail, use Vim to write, use one of the many console mode RSS aggregators, etc. And it cost me $50 at a garage sale. Smart phones can suck it.

Re:well (1)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798030)

I've got a Samsung SCH-i760, and I have to agree. Not since my oldest kid hit the terrible twos has anything proven to be such a threat to my mental tranquility. It takes all of my self restraint to stop myself from smashing it to bits two or three times a week.

It's slow. It crashes frequently. It randomly doesn't work. Like right now - I was taking pictures with it earlier (always a risky proposition) and now it's dead. Gotta hit the reset button and wait until it reboots. If I want to use the browser, that's another two minutes of waiting. And then I might get through three pages before it crashes - or perhaps just stops letting me scroll.

Try to type a text message, and more often than not it'll pop up the contacts list after you've typed in a few letters. Enter a phone number in the contacts list using the numeric keypad, and it comes out as letters.

I have to say that the third-party RSS reader I downloaded works well. The telnet client too isn't bad. But for the things I bought it for - phone, email, and light web browsing - it's damn near useless, and it has nothing to do with the small screen and keyboard.

Re:well (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798252)

It's the implementation. I though the same about Windows mobile phones. until I got my current Samsung Blackjack.

I recently upgraded it from WM5 to WM6 and it's fast, stable and works well. It seems the smartphone edition of WM5 and WM6 works better than the touchscreen enabled version.

I even like it WAY better than the Windows Mobile Treo and palm Treo. It's all in the hardware being designed for the software it runs.

Re:well (1)

Meorah (308102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798572)

what phone? slower than what? buggier than what? define terrible phone, do you mean your handset has a horrible RF antenna? nearly as bad PDA, how so?

How they came to be more prevalent than palm, let me count the ways:
-better voice recognition.
-text to speech conversion.
-office mobile and exchange activesync.
-single-touch capable.
-thousands of .cab files available for every application you would ever want.
-custom cooked ROM images to fit a variety of needs, including "fast and stable".
-setting options to be as battery hungry and performance oriented or as battery fiscal and longevity oriented as you want.
-ability to support multitudes of hardware configurations and features, so handset manufacturers who want to put GPS receivers, graphical chipsets, 3g frequencies, and play around with different form factors can do so easily.
-better applications than the competition. Try to find something on S60, UIQ, iPhone, or any java MIDP based handset that is as good as Windows LiveSearch for Windoes Mobile. Namely, GPS-based proximity gas price search and voice-enabled search queries that both work flawlessly... sorry Google Maps and Nokia Maps... you're good, but you can't touch WLS.

The list goes on. Next time you buy phones, you might want to ask the person who does the research and authorization on phone purchases to stop worrying so much about saving a few bucks and actually spend the money on quality phones; and OS is not really a primary concern for a quality phone, as I can name quality phones that use every major phone OS, manufacturer too.

But don't mind me, continue bashing MS with inane argument that make you look like an uneducated zealous tool.

Re:well (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798976)

500? Hmm...for another $200 you can get last year's lower end Thinkpad, if you just look for the deals.

While the OLPC did not hit the $100 mark they set for themselves, it did show the bigger companies where the last big group purchasers were hiding. And now these groups are throwing development resources into attaining the last dregs of large untapped group buys.

So now, what lies ahead for the consumer? Well, how do you want your data? For the morning commute, something ultraportable and more reading than interaction? For work hours, something more for a multitasking environment with less eye strain? For the home, something networked to give you everything - music, TV, teh Intarweb, and boobies?

What I've just described seems to be a system that snaps into or detaches from larger frameworks and nows what content to deliver based upon that framwork.

[lightbulb=!]

Excuse me while I go kick a couple of patent trolls awake.

REDFLY won't Fly (1)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799058)

Hmm.. the Nokia n800 and the EEPC have much more features than the REDFLY.
Plus they cost less.
Both the Nokia and the EEPC are great at finding wireless access points and
cracking them! Gotta love airoscript.

Re:well (1)

71thumper (107491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799306)

The thing is, the eee pc doesn't do one major thing this device does -- work on data on your smartphone (that is, you don't have yet another device with data that has to be transfered). And with the phones it works on, you don't have to set up yet another email client (which, depending upon how your company runs exchange, might not even be available).

The idea, remember, is just a remote console for your smartphone, its apps, and its data. So a lot different than the eee pc.

Mind you, I'm not saying I see the value in it for other reasons -- mainly, I feel it's too expensive for what it provides -- but I don't completely believe it's the eee pc that's the redfly killer...rather, that the value proposition for the redfly doesn't make sense.

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799330)

Windows mobile does have one of the worlds worst interfaces to any software platform i can think of.

Want to close the current window, perhaps you should tap that X in the corner... Oops! you just minimized using the windows "smart minimize" feature (actual name).
Still want that program to close? looks like you are going to have to navigate to the system memory function on the device and close it that way...

NOT KIDDING.

From the looks of that video is they've made a expensive laptop that scales all these terrible features to the large screen, now your interface sucks even BIGGER.

Re:well (1)

heson (915298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799820)

The phones aren't powerful enough to need this device yet. I see the future where the phone is your computer, and you attach it to lager screen etc. when you need that (diffrent screens, a huge at work place, a medium size at home and a mini for travel). And defenitely no coords. This product will flop the company will die and in 3-7 years everyone will have similar thin clients (with some well known logo on it) Yes, the phone will run a proper desktop OS.

Or... (0, Flamebait)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797206)

...will the Asus EeePC fail in the laptop market and render the entire discussion irrelevant?

Re:Or... (5, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797272)

I doubt it. If you read this article on Asustek [statesman.com] you will find things like, "Since the Eee PC hit store shelves last fall, sales have been strong. Between October and the end of the year, Asustek sold more than 300,000 Eee PCs, and executives say they expect to sell between 3.5 million and 5 million this year."

I've seen a number of them out and about - I don't think they can fail by any sane measurement, as they have already succeeded by most.

Re:Or... (2, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797358)

I'm thinking more long-term. Sure, the EeePC has sold well so far, but it seems mostly as a novelty. Even among the people I talk to about them they complain about the small disk space, strained eyes with extended use, etc. As other laptops become cheaper and remain far superior to the EeePC, I forsee them quickly dropping away.

Re:Or... (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797422)

and why do you think asus wont take advantage of the same trends and improve the eee pc?

Re:Or... (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797538)

Maybe as a more general laptop, but not as the same type of device it is now.

I know I'll get panned for saying it, especially here where it seems many have a love affair with the EeePC, but the device never seemed like a good investment. I guess in a time when people are paying in excess of $350 for an iPod it seems like a good deal, but I tend to value my money a bit more and would much rather pay more for a considerable boost in power and practicality.

Though I will admit: it looks pretty cool. But I think I'd probably sit on it by accident after a few weeks and toss $350 or whatever in the trash.

Re:Or... (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797642)

The thing is that you can pay more for a much larger laptop - that is extremely inconvenient to carry around or tons more for something a bit bigger but with more power. I have a full size laptop I travel with, but if someone is next to me on a flight, I usually don't bother getting it out. Too much hassle, and just reminds me about the person in front of me having reclined and made it impossible to get the screen to the angle I like.
 
My last trans-atlantic flight I sat by someone with an eee pc and it was perfect for that environment. They are in general much more portable than anything at remotely close to the same price.
 
I think this type of device is going to do well for a while and not just as a novelty. It hits a sweet spot that has existed for some time and will continue to grow. As parts get cheaper the screen will get a bit bigger and it will be a fantastic machine.

Re:Or... (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797700)

The point of the eee is, I think, that a lot of people simply don't need the power most laptops come with. Also, it fits in a handbag (or purse, if you're American)--that's a big deal.

By the way, I think it's actually pretty robust, I've dropped my girlfriend's eee twice (I use it because I find my 12" powerbook (!) too big and clunky for actual laptop use), with no ill effects.

Re:Or... (3, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798220)

Also, it fits in a handbag (or purse, if you're American)-

Or a man-bag, if you're a man -- or a murse, if you're an American man.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22798554)

I beg your pardon!

We Americans never use the word "murse". It sounds too much like "morse code" which makes us think of old people, which makes us think about "old man smell" which in turn brings back unpleasant memories of third period Gym class.

We proudly refer to our courier bag as a "MAN PURSE".

Ironically, defiantly referring to your own Man Purse (and subtly daring someone to make fun of it) has become Manly.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799268)

Or ManBearPurse if you're Al Gore.

Re:Or... (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799288)

As soon as chip makers respond to the new demand for ikle tiny computers by making faster chips for them, and as we get ever more capacity from flash, the EEE will compete even better with bigger laptops. Right now its only really good for office and browsing, with the next generation or 2 it will probably be able to handle photo and video editing reasonably well too, and at that point it fulfils the basic needs of almost everyone and will be able to ravage the lowend laptop market.

Re:Or... (2, Interesting)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797388)

I doubt it. It's selling like bloody hotcakes. [reuters.com] Newegg can't keep them on the shelves.

Why do you think we are starting to see similar devices?

I think the market was ripe for such a thing, particularly at these price points. I know I "had to have" mine, and for $379USD am loving every minute of it.

Now, Windows mobile could be a nice somewhat lean OS for the thing, and I'd find this REDFLY pretty good if it was a little sleeker and more refined then my eeePC. I would prefer the Linux though because I'm a big Linux geek and it offers very much flexibility.

what's up with that? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797222)

Well it's a 2 pound, fully functional computer with a bunch of standard features you'd find on a laptop so that's pretty cool. But why is it suddenly some sort of innovation to see who can squeeze by an almost normal computer with pathetic hardware? If they were able to put something comparable to even an AMD X2 processor into it, these things would be crazy popular! But I guess if you don't plan on bringing it everywhere and using it as a full business laptop, and just wanna do basic stuff on it then your expectations will probably be met. As for me, I want to carry around something faster than my PC but maybe that's just me lol. And before anyone says it, yes it's all because of battery life. I have severe battery-run-out-ophobia when it comes to mobile devices too but shouldn't the new inventions be really, really good batteries and efficient hardware not the slowest portable they can still force to run an OS?

Re:what's up with that? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797732)

If they were able to put something comparable to even an AMD X2 processor into it, these things would be crazy popular!

I can think of at least three things: heat, cost and battery life.

For many tasks a 800MHz PC is more than enough. Heck, 600MHz is enough for light surfing, email, light development, light office work. I had a P-III 600MHz laptop with 512Meg RAM running XP Pro just fine and doing all that and more. (It only replaced it because it physically started to fall apart) Now, I might sound like the "attributed to Bill Gates" quote "640kByte should be enough for everyone", but look at the frequency-scaling of your CPU in daily usage. Mine has a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU and it's pretty much at 800MHz at all times, which is the lowest scale it can run.

Re:what's up with that? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798152)

But I guess if you don't plan on bringing it everywhere and using it as a full business laptop, and just wanna do basic stuff on it then your expectations will probably be met.

As it happens, that describes a lot of people. A whole lot. People did real work on computers not as fast as the eee not that long ago. You can do a lot of real work (and have real fun) on the eee today. It's really not that surprising that the eee is a big success. I just wish it had a bigger screen.

Re:what's up with that? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799212)

But why is it suddenly some sort of innovation

Because it's cheap and tiny. And because no one else has made a fully functional computer that is this cheap and this small -- generally, it's been just the opposite, where smaller costs more.

If they were able to put something comparable to even an AMD X2 processor into it

You speak as if an X2 is slow?

And...

As for me, I want to carry around something faster than my PC

Why? Seriously, why?

What is it that you need to do on the train, bus, plane, in a car, in the park, etc, that requires a dual-core processor? Under what circumstances do you need to do something that requires that much power, and you can't simply go back to a desktop somewhere? Or even remote to one?

these things would be crazy popular!

They are. Or didn't you notice?

And before anyone says it, yes it's all because of battery life.

That makes even less sense.

You want something extremely powerful, so that it can use less battery life? WTF?

Here's a hint: All the computers I currently own tend to clock themselves back to 1 ghz, in order to save power. Why is it that you think a faster processor would give you more battery life? A newer one, sure, but not a faster one.

It might also be worth investigating how big a battery you can buy for the eee, or how cheap they are. It's not exactly pleasant, but you can certainly shut down, swap batteries, and boot again -- assuming it doesn't have a couple minutes of onboard battery (probably not, but maybe). Or give it some extra storage and figure out how to make it hibernate while you do that. Or find an outlet and plug in -- I'm again left wondering under what circumstances you need a powerful laptop with a long battery.

not the slowest portable they can still force to run an OS?

Do you know what an OS is? The iPhone runs a modified OS X. There's Windows Mobile and Linux devices, too.

Very rarely will you find a portable device these days that doesn't have some kind of OS, even if it's something like tron. [tron.org]

If you meant "fully functional desktop OS", nope, still not accurate. While people have put XP on the eee, its default configuration is a pretty heavily customized Linux, in a mode which minimizes the RAM used just to show you a desktop environment, giving you more for actual apps. But if your standard is "able to show me windows and a Firefox browser", I've still got you beat -- even old Jornada handhelds can do that (slowly), by compiling a full desktop Firefox for ARM.

cheap designers (-1, Troll)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797236)

Windows aside, what's with the retarded typeface used on the keyboard? I wouldn't buy it for that reason alone.

Beavis and Butthead (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22797244)

"I am Palm Foleo. I need TP for my bum hole."

The thing about Palm Foleo... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799428)

The thing about Palm Foleo, above all else, is that Palm is dying. They've been dying by inches since 2002 or so... When they still had over 3/4 of the handheld market share (and when people still cared about PDAs) they were on top of the world. After that they did pretty good with the Treo - which, IMO, could have given them a solid future - except they were too slow about following up on that success. It turned out that other hardware manufacturers were also capable of producing hardware with similar capabilities in the same form-factor... And Palm's OS, which was wonderful back in 1998, wonderful because Palm bucked the trend of trying to put as much CPU power into a palmtop as possible and instead put in just as much as they could reasonably do and still have a device that was nice to carry around - was seriously showing its age at a time when people's desire for the portable device to also be able to do things like play media and manage photos was now quite reasonable from a hardware standpoint...

Now, I don't think Foleo was based on Palm OS - but the thing is Palm's just not on very solid footing right now. They aren't Apple, they can't do something crazy like that and expect people to lap it up. I think that anybody trying to sell low-capability sub-notebooks is going for a bit of a hard sell - but the idea behind the product is sound... Sometimes you just need to do your work on something a little bit smaller - something just a bit easier to lug around - and even if you can fit all the technology of a full laptop into that form factor, you can't squeeze the screen, for instance - you need a certain physical size for usability - and if the screen's too small then the software has to be designed to account for that. But still they're trying to sell something people don't think they need - so it helps a lot if it's being sold by a company that's not already in its death throes...

If it can run Linux w. Compiz? (4, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797266)

If it can run Linux with Compiz, possibly. Here is an ASUS eee (eeePC) with Linux running Compiz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biRzKj3XxCY [youtube.com] with graphics far more impressive than anything Vista can ever achieve, with or without Service Pack 1 (SP1). That VideoTube link shows an eee (eeepc) link running graphics super and more user friendly than Vista. OK, you can have the ASUS eee with the old-fashioned XP (i.e. yesterday's version), but then you have to Pay MORE THAN $100!!! Go figure what is the best choice for you...

Very cool video (1)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797606)

Thanks for sharing. I did not know Xubuntu did that or that it would give accelerated graphics support. Xandros on it's own is great for most people but this video shows what is on the way. Windows mobile won't be able to hold a candle to the next generation of Linux devices.

Re:If it can run Linux w. Compiz? (4, Funny)

Aetuneo (1130295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798076)

As someone with an Eee which can run Compiz (I installed it yesterday), I have the following comments to make:
1. It kills the battery life.
2. It's actually not that useful. No more user friendly than eeeXubuntu is, and, like I said, the decreased batter life prevents it from being that viable.
3. Shininess does not create usability.
4. The Eee is great, can't argue with that.
5. You are a bit too excited about this, and your grammar has suffered. It should be "then you have to pay more than $100 extra," not "then you have to Pay MORE THAN $100!!!"
6. Using more than one exclaimation mark makes people think that you are insane. It makes people pay attention for the same reason that people pay attention to the crazy people on the street - if you don't, they might stab you.

Re:If it can run Linux w. Compiz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22798384)

"by Aetuneo (1130295)":

"5. You are a bit too excited about this, and your grammar has suffered."

Yeas, I'm foreign, too! ;)

"6. Using more than one exclaimation mark makes people think that you are insane."

Are you the one with a brown suitcase at the Zoo five days ago?! Those nuts were meant for the gombrils, not the doves! ;)

Cheers! :D

Re:If it can run Linux w. Compiz? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798580)

I have to agree about Compiz. It seems to be more about looking cool than being useful. The spinning cube virtual desktop is a good example. Is that really useful? Wouldn't it perhaps be more useful to have a little widget that showed your virtual desktops and when you moused over showed a zoomed in realtime view of them?

That isn't to say I'm against nifty UI enhancements. I think that the whole task-switching preview thing that you see in Compiz/OS-X/Vista is great. However I find that Compiz has not a whole lot of that as compared to things that are just eye candy, and some of it eye candy that actually hinders usability. I'm even ok with just pure eye candy, but only if it doesn't get in the way of usability.

The battery life is also most certainly non-trivial for a portable device. That's one thing I do have to give Vista. You take a laptop and put XP and Vista on it, Vista will last longer, even with the eye candy turned on. Not sure what the reason is, but we've tried it on a couple laptops in the department and in all cases, they get more battery life with Vista than with XP.

I'm glad that OSes are making use of the GPUs to do a better job with desktop rendering, but I want to see it used in primary useful ways. Things like true resolution independence, usability enhancements and so on. Eye candy just for it's own sake, especially if it hinders usability, is silly.

Re:If it can run Linux w. Compiz? (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800042)

The spinning cube virtual desktop really is a good example. It really is useful; so much that I would say it has changed my life. (or at least the way i use computers) it is as big a change as going from windows xp's single desktop to linux's virtual desktops.

>Wouldn't it perhaps be more useful to have a little widget that showed your virtual desktops and when you moused over showed a zoomed in realtime view of them?

You can. Compiz does not mean spinning cube. Cube is just one desktop plugin, along with wall and plane. And they are all optional. You can have a pager widget, but why? My cube is transparent. I don't minimize windows anymore. I don't need a system tray, or a taskbar. And w/ right click on desktop I don't even need start menu. Lets get rid ov the ugly blue screen destroying bar.

Right now I can see 17 windows, and the contents ov each, all updated in realtime. If a window gets in my way, I can fling it across the desktop, and it wobbles and slides across the cube to another face. If I flick my mouse hard enough, I can make the window slide all the way around the cube and stop more or less where it started. so, For example if I need to use a window behind the current window real quick I will fling my current window to the side, click a few things in the rear window and then go back to the first window when it slides to a stop, all without missing a beat.

Get a Neo FreeRunner + bluetooth keyboard (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798212)

http://www.openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com]
http://wiki.openmoko.org/ [openmoko.org]

Cheaper, open from top to bottom, and you can do anything on it that a 400 mhz ARM linux computer can do.

As a bonus, super high dpi screen (480x640, 2.8"), GPS, full bluetooth (not that watered-down, headset-only crap most phones come with), 802.11 g, two accelerometers for potential phone-as-magic-wand fun, and of course it's not locked to any carrier and you get a linux terminal.

Downsides: about one month still until release (now you can only get the Neo1973 with no accelerometers or wi-fi), only GPRS for mobile internet (no EDGE or 3G), software still in alpha-beta until later this year.

BTW: is someone on the slashdot coding staff aware of the bug where preview resets your subject line to that of the parent? This is on Firefox 2.0.0.12 on Windows 2000 if it matters.

Seen it, not very impressed (5, Interesting)

stuporglue (1167677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797302)

Colin Cook (CTO of Celio, makers of Redfly) came to speak to our Information Technology guest lecture class at BYU, so I've seen this thing in action.

I asked them about computers like the EEE PC and there was a definite brief look of worry, then he claimed that people didn't want to carry around a whole extra computer, and that by being able to keep the PDA on your person, the Redfly would be more secure than a laptop which you might leave in a bag or briefcase. He also said that the target customer (Windows PDA users) wouldn't want to buy an EEE PC because it had Linux on it.

He also seemed to get slightly flustered when I informed him that you could buy EEE PCs with Windows on them.

I think that when they started working on this project, there was a need and a market for it, but now that it's almost ready their market has disappeared because functional affordable UMPCs are finally on the market. That said, it was kind of neat, but not $500 neat. Maybe PDA accessory neat($50-$100).

Re:Seen it, not very impressed (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798358)

``He also said that the target customer (Windows PDA users) wouldn't want to buy an EEE PC because it had Linux on it.''

He's probably right about that one. I know enough people who won't touch Linux unless it's forced on them. Usually because of some imagined defect of Linux's, but the reason doesn't really matter. If it's new and it's with Windows, they'll love it. If it has Linux, they will stay as far away from it as they can.

Re:Seen it, not very impressed (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800356)

I am hopping that the anti Linux feelings will soon be a thing of the past. I have used Linux for years but even I felt it was really good at being a server and as a hobby desktop. That is until I installed the latest Ubuntu. I was shocked how easy it was to use. I really didn't have to do too much mucking about to get it working. No fiddling with X windows at all. I just had to install it and go. There was the one stupid pet trick I had to do get DVD playback to work but other than that it really does just work.
My wife asked me to put it on her desktop as well. She has no problem with it and is a long time user of GIMP on Windows. She thinks FSpot is great and finds Linux as easy to use as Windows.
Once people find out that they use Linux every time they go to google or use their TIVO maybe they well get over the Linux is hard to use idea. It was true in the past but modern Linux system seem to be just as easy to use as Windows if not more so.

Have an eeePC device (4, Interesting)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797334)

I have loaded my eeePC device with a Web Server and 2 databases and use if for development work on the road and keeping up with emails. I just don't see that a keyboard and screen that plug into a PDA are going to compete with that. This has way more functionality than my PDA and is a great cross between a laptop and PDA. Sorry Matthew it's no contest.
Plus are you going to sit on a train juggling a display, a keyboard, a mouse, and a PDA.

Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797394)

Touch iPod has wireless, email, web browsing and soon VOIP. It also has a patch coming out to integrate it better with Exchange servers. Why would you need anything more than that? Need a phone too? Get the iPhone.

Re:Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797410)

I like to type stuff. The iPhone, well, it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd want to write a novel on, you know?

Re:Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797704)

Yeah, I enjoy having tactile feedback while pressing a key, so that pretty much rules out the iPhone for me as well.

Re:Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797824)

It's not programmable at will (Yeah, yeah, the SDK is coming, but you won't be able to install non-Apple approved software) and for the iPhone, it costs a whopping 399€ with contract. Thanks, but no thanks...

Another poster here said that he installed a database server on his EEE PC for demos. I doubt your fancy iPhone is even in the same leage.

Re:Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797948)

In addition to what FooAtWFU already nailed dead-on: because the Eee is a PC. You know, fully unlocked and runs anything that you could run on a PC.

This isn't about ideology wars. It's purely pragmatic. I want to do stuff like load Eclipse [eclipse.org] on it, and type code while on the train. Or any other program that I already know from the PC. Even if a PDA sorta-equivalent exists, maybe I can't be arsed to learn it, when I already have a perfectly good program that I'm familiar with.

In that vein, I plan to buy an Eee for mom (once I can actually find one in stock that is), and pack whatever programs she uses to process her photos on it. I never got into the whole digital photo thing, but she seems to have, big time, and methinks it would make a nice birthday present if she could take it with her on the road. Roll that around in your head. Not some "well, it sorta almost does the same thing if you learn the totally different interface" kind of thing, but the exact same that she already knows and is comfortable with.

I want to be able to plug whatever PC peripherals I have around into it. Like, for example, the Wacom tablet. (It's a damn good wireless, battery-less, ball-less and led-less mouse. And the stylus is nice for graphics too.)

Basically, if you can live with the restricted selection of software that PDAs typically have, more power to you. I won't try to convert you. But some of us would rather have a small PC than a PDA. Different class of tool, really.

Re:Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798048)

Well considering that alot of the apps you mentioned either exist on the iPod touch or as a web app, I still don't see the prob (except typing which is a good point as typing on any PDA sux).

There's Eclipse on the Ipod Touch? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798888)

Huh? I can run Eclipse on the iPod Touch? And compile and run my own Java programs, as I damn see fit? Including such stuff as developping a servlet and running it in a web container?

Re:Touch iPod is cheaper (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799464)

Interesting point but if cost is your main issue then get a Windows Mobile 5/6 phone, you get several days of battery (with use) wi-fi is standard, many have GPS built in (that works well) I've yet to see one which didn't have expandable memory so you can put that 4GB mini-sd card in for your music, skype already works on the format, it already works near perfectly with exchange, you can open/edit word/excel/powerpoint documents and if a decent keyboard is on your list then you can get a full (usable by fat fingered people) keyboard included as well. For £0 and a 18month contract (which has a lower rate than the iPhones.)

Anouther idea why not buy a PSP? My PSP has a good web browser (better than my phones) wifi and supports VOIP.

Apple were not the first to do integrated devices.

Keyboard and Monitor? (1, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797432)

Am I reading this right? Is this thing just a glorified keyboard and monitor? For $500? I could get a crappy laptop for that much.

Re:Keyboard and Monitor? (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798968)

YMMV [dfsdirectsales.com] , but I just picked up a 12.1" 1.8ghz (Pentium M) / winxp pro / cdrw / 1g RAM / 60g HDD dell referb for $450 for my little one. Thought about the eepc for $350, but the screen size was wrong for her. Might for me with the new cut. Point being, is you get a lot of computer for under $500 these days. A windows mobile smartphone for that price... yikes.

No. 'nuff said. (2, Interesting)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797456)

Lame idea. Lame implementation. Expensive. Glad I'm not an investor in their company.

Attention EEE PC competitors (4, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797480)

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT REQUIRE a smartphone to use said sub-laptop. You are missing the point entirely. The EEE pc doesn't require you to have a pricey smart phone, nor a potentially pricey data plan to use. It has this wonderful concept of not requiring it at all. That's what bewlidered me on the ill-fated Foleo. Why spend so many dollars that is a parasitic device where you can just get a laptop already?

These convergence devices bug me to a certain point. I turned off my wireless data plan and opted for a plain-jane phone when I realized I never used it enough to justify its cost. So with the few poeple like me that are cheapskates when it comes to a cell phone, you lost a customer if your 'top requires it. What if I just want to use existing free wifi spots or just go offline to whip up some notes or play games?

Let's not add a needless layer of complication to the equation. Pricing it to $100 less than a real laptop is just asking for failure. So if you sell off your cell phone, do you sell off the redfly as well?

Re:Attention EEE PC competitors (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797766)

These convergence devices bug me to a certain point. I turned off my wireless data plan and opted for a plain-jane phone when I realized I never used it enough to justify its cost. So with the few poeple like me that are cheapskates when it comes to a cell phone, you lost a customer if your 'top requires it. What if I just want to use existing free wifi spots or just go offline to whip up some notes or play games?

I'm the same way. I've been very tempted lately to purchase a Nokia n810 tablet to use at wifi spots. And with skype included, I can use SkypeOut and SkypeIn to talk very cheaply and just go with a prepaid minute plan on my cell for emergencies. I just don't have a need for always on data connection...

Re:Attention EEE PC competitors (1)

big_paul76 (1123489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798046)

Here, here.

Y'know what I want from a phone? Text and voice. Sure, it's fun to have a camera sometimes and all that, but that's really it. The Eee PC is nice, but a bit too overpriced right now. So making an Eee PC competitor that's wedded to the smartphone market, and does nothing without a smartphone, for about the same price as an Eee PC?

Re:Attention EEE PC competitors (1)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798538)

Although I find your comment Interesting I would point out that this gadget isn't for people who care what services they pay for. It is seems to be aimed for jet-hoppers who don't want a laptop or just prefer their handheld but could certainly be productive with an in-between-er to make thumb typing and navigating a little easier. I don't think this is the best fit however as it is still quite large.

What I found hilarious is it connects to your phone and you can connect it to another VGA monitor. Now thats redundancy!

[J]

Re:Attention EEE PC competitors (1)

Jack Conrad (898450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799264)

Mildly tangential: My PDA/cellphone has no data plan. I got one with wifi access (they do exist). I never understood why people got PDAs/smartphones without wifi access.

That said, yes, the sub-laptop is rather pointless.

Errrr.... (1)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797558)

I usually always mostly kinda for the most part often more or less totally believe and completely guarantee that I am entirely certain of the definite possibility that >.

Earlier estimates had it priced at US$500 (1)

monschein (1232572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797686)

Right there is enough for me to not even consider it. I bought a laptop with a Geforce 8400, 2 GB or ram, and a dual core processor for $600. Why the hell would I spend $500 on a crippled machine like Redfly?

Re:Earlier estimates had it priced at US$500 (1)

nxsty (942984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798160)

Right there is enough for me to not even consider it. I bought a laptop with a Geforce 8400, 2 GB or ram, and a dual core processor for $600. Why the hell would I spend $500 on a crippled machine like Redfly?

Because it's small and have up to 8h battery time.

Huh (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797804)

I'd rather just have software that lets me do the same thing on my laptop. Why would I want to carry yet another device? I love my Motorola Q but if I wanted to use it in this manner I'd figure out a way to use it with my laptop, which I have to carry with me on business anyways.

Apparently just a USB hub, with accessories... (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22797836)

Not that that's a bad thing. I don't see why you can't attach it to anything that's a USB master, say a Linux smartphone, or use it as a dumb terminal for a desktop system.

I think... (2, Insightful)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798070)

I made out better forking over $500 for an EEE PC, a 2 gig ram upgrade, 16gig SD drive, and USB drive enclosure.

The USB enclosure made nice with my spare DVD drive and let me put XP on my EEE which lets me do work things and have fun with Doom and Quake when I'm waiting at the car shop while my car gets its regular maintenance done.

If you don't have a spare copy of XP like I did then you'd have to fork out another $200 for it. Still.. thats a whole PC for something the size of this dumb terminal (It doesn't appear to be a complete system to me.)

If anything it'd be nice for exiting mobile device users but only if the price was like $100-200 I feel.. I wouldn't fork over $300-500 for it.

Re:I think... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798214)

I don't know what work things you require, but Doom [zdoom.org] and Quake [tldp.org] both work well on linux. Duke3d [eduke32.com] too. If you like old games, you'll find that very many of them are well supported on linux, either through source ports or emulators [dosbox.com] .

It looks very old (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798098)

Im my eyes like something from out of 1993. Old and ugly, with a rather poor operating system. It has ZERO chance in the market place.

DOA (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798148)

If they had an advertising budget to shout like Apple does AND Microsoft coordinated market activities with them, then I'd say they have a 50/50 chance.

I may be the only one who has dealt with Microsoft when they promise a vendor big things in order to get a Microsoft-reliant product to market, then mysteriously all of the promises evaporate.

What makes matters worse, is Microsoft's OEM OS business will screw new device makers every time. You bet Microsoft will choose the probable volume of the EEPC versus this device developer. New device makers have to go to the OEM's to get their design produced anyway.

Today's lesson: choosing Microsoft products for your start-up company's new-fangled device is baaaad business. If you have success with another OS first, revisit a Microsoft configuration.

Pointless device, poor product targeting (3, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22798210)

I can see the appeal of the EEE PC, because it's small, cheap, and PC compatible. You can even load Windows on there if you're so motivated. From design to application, it's a mini-laptop.

Redfly is small-ish, but it's not cheap, and it runs Windows Mobile. That makes it a bastard PDA, and the industry has proven time and time again that PDAs suck, and PDA phones are just bulky overpriced phones with crap features. No love.

At $500, it's within kicking distance of many cheap full-featured laptops from ECS and Acer, even Dell! If you really want to be a road warrior and get some work done on the bus, you don't want an oversized Blackberry, you want a real laptop! With a real keyboard, real apps and 100% compatibility with your existing software investment and infrastructure. The hardware is peanuts these days, it's all about the software.

Like H/PC Pro Without The OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22798484)

If I get this thing right, all it does is redisplay what's on your Smartphone, it doesn't even have its own OS. For $500, they could build it with a license for Windows CE and it would actually work without the smartphone... or better yet, they could include the phone hardware and it would be a smartphone. However, this was tried already, to some degree, with the Handheld PC Pro devices way back in the history of Windows CE - check out the IBM Workpad z50 for an example. Those retailed for around $500 as well, but at least they included Windows CE so that you could use them to actually do some work. Unfortunately, they never took off... which is where I think this device is headed as well.

It's a Trojan (2, Interesting)

giafly (926567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799120)

This is one of those rare occasions where a company deliberately sabotages their own flagship product
  1. If implemented as written, OOXML will massively increase the "attack surface" of Office
  2. Microsoft must actually try and implement it, or face anti-trust complaints.
  3. It will become a target of choice for botnets and virusses.
  4. And they will have to kill it. Only question is, "How Soon"?

Nope! People want full applications (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799294)

People expect full versions of applications or at least the same level of functionality.

Eeepc gives you just that, full blown Linux applications (or Windows if you have to install it).

Powerful PDA's need to run Linux or Windows these days or at least have ports of popular Linux apps.

Old Laptop + PdaNET (1)

Electrawn (321224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799410)

What about an old laptop + PdaNET Software (June Fabrics)? Verizon Treo 700w data plan: $54 a month. Treo 700w cradle from Ebay: $15. June Fabrics PDANet: $35 + tax. Old XP Laptop = $300 more or less.

This is the solution I use on the train. Works just fine.

sure (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799424)

People who by crap like Windows Mobile will probably buy this crap, too.

For everybody else, there are better choices.

Who thought we needed this (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800984)

Do I have this right?

Redfly is not actually a full-fledged subnotebook computer, but rather a portable dumb terminal that you can use to run software that resides on the PDA/mobile phone in your pocket?

And it's only compatible with a small set of Windows Mobile devices?

And the only color it's available in is burgundy?

And it will cost $500 when it comes to market -- more than the Asus EeePC, which IS a full-fledged subnotebook?

Does this thing have ANY positives at all?

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