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Ross Rubin Editorial on Linux Internet Devices

Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for consumer technology at market research and analysis firm the NPD Group, has posted a thought-provoking piece entitled "The Linux Ultraportable Opportunity" in his Engadget blog column. While not necessarily relevant to Palm Inc. and their immediate stable of products, anyone waiting with bated breath on Palm's next-generation Nova OS would be well-served to begin paying at least passing attention to the increasingly crowded market of portable, affordable devices running some distribution of Linux.

Rubin's article focuses on a product segment that has recently blazing hot: the rise of the affordable, Linux-based subnotebook PC. Rubin notes the rapid rise of Linux into the mobile market in devices such as the Asus EEE PC HP Mini-Note and Everex's Cloudbook. He correctly points out that Microsoft's bloated and clunky Vista and Windows Mobile OSes cannot, even alongside the immortal Windows XP recently given a stay of execution, hope to stave off Linux forever.

"It is no coincidence that, mirroring Microsoft's product gap between Windows Mobile and Windows Vista, the historically hazy and suddenly hot device space between the cellphone and the notebook is emerging as the best shot yet for the Linux desktop."

While the article unfortunately does not mention Palm's stillborn Linux-based Foleo subnotebook from 2007, Rubin does mention Palm's efforts to move Palm OS forward on the back of its Linux-based Nova initiative, ironically announced a little over a year ago.

Rubin also points out on an interesting shift in the "affordable" Linux-based OS camp: when the hardware specs are beefed up to provide a comparable experience to entry-level Wintel notebooks, the price advantage enjoyed by these Linux-powered devices immediately vanishes. This problem was one of the main criticisms leveled at Palm's canceled Foleo last year. Indeed, an Asus EEE PC, even with weak specs, is a much more appealing device at $300 or less than it does at $500+. With even the lowest-end EEE PC possessing far more out of the box capabilities and hardware power than Palm's Foleo, Palm's (and in all likelihood, Jon Rubinstein's) decision to cancel the project at the 11th hour looks even more brilliant in hindsight.

Ross Rubin's full Out of the Box blog containing many additional Linux-powered subnotebook musings can be found here.

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Foleo no mention

palmit @ 5/7/2008 11:19:37 PM # Q
Its funny how now this whole new market of machines are the next big thing and they cant even mention the Foleo.

Its like Rodney said, Palm gets no respect!

RE: Foleo no mention
hkklife @ 5/7/2008 11:53:21 PM # Q
The Fooleo is not, nor was it ever, available for sale. So why even bother mentioning it? Besides, a <$300 Asus EEE PC 2G Surf has, what, 20x the fucntionality of a Fooleo right out of the box? All the Fooleo had going for it was its screensize and keyboard layout. And the screen's size was terribly mitigated by the inadequate hardware powering it.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p
RE: Foleo no mention
palmit @ 5/8/2008 2:14:58 AM # Q
The Asus with its 7in screen looks like a toy! Plus I know that the Foleo was never released. I'm just saying that I still think they should of gotten a mention.

By the way, I'll take your bet that Palm is still around and releasing products pass '08.

RE: Foleo no mention
Gekko @ 5/8/2008 8:25:55 AM # Q

"Let the name of Fooleo be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Sunnyvale. Let the name of Fooleo be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time."


RE: Foleo no mention
palmit @ 5/8/2008 11:43:02 AM # Q
Don't you mean "Foleo".

I wonder if Palm decides to release a new version running Nova OS would they change the name.

RE: Foleo no mention
PacManFoo @ 5/8/2008 1:11:17 PM # Q
Don't you mean "Foleo".
You must be new around here.

Don't act like Palm was the first to come up with the idea of a small laptop like device. Remember the Newton Emate and the AlphaSmarts and the Cassiopeia Fivas and on and on. The Fooleo was even more limiting because it required you to have a Treo to go with it.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm TX (Number 2)
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22, UX50
Casio-EM500
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100

RE: Foleo no mention
SeldomVisitor @ 5/8/2008 1:25:46 PM # Q
> ...I wonder if Palm decides to release a new version running Nova
> OS would they change the name...

I think that is pretty much a given.

BTW - the CFO of PALM =today= said the schedule for the "new OS devices" is not "early next year" but instead "1st half 2009".

He also noted that what has been said to be delivered by the end of THIS year is the "core OS", not the, for example, user interface part.

RE: Foleo no mention
hkklife @ 5/8/2008 1:33:00 PM # Q
I had an Atari Portfolio in......1989?
http://www.atari-portfolio.co.uk/aboutpf/ta-aboutpf.html

MS-DOS compatible (of sorts), a monochrome "widescreen", a surprisingly robust chiclet keyboard, and no bulky floppy drive. Atari offered a variety of optional expansion cards + plug-in accessories. And it was immortalized in Terminator 2, so 'nuff said.

Prior to that we had the Tandy WP-2/SP-3 that for YEARS had the best keyboard available on an "ultraportable":
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=1256

and this nifty unit by Laser/Vtech:
http://www.larwe.com/museum/laserpc5.html

If you want something a little more modern, look at the classic Psion clamshells with superb keyboards for their size:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_5

So, no, there was *nothing* new or revolutionary about the Fooleo, save Palm's intentional crippling of its functionality and connectivity in order to try and (you guessed it!) sell MORE Treos + data plans!

Had Palm really been serious about wanting to produce a product devoid of carrier interference, they'd have come up with something resembling the Fooleo but CHOCK-FULL of bundled apps and with reasonably robust hardware. Instead, they were looking to tout a neutered, feature-hobbled device as something innovative. Or, Palm could have simply released a slimmer, debugged version of the LifeDrive utilizing flash memory. That's much more in line with their core competence of "PDA-style" devices and not the subnotebook field with which they have zero experience (it's been a long time since Hawkins was at GRiD, ya know!)

At the very least, Palm should have given the Fooleo a standard e-mail client and given it a proper CPU and video hardware capable of playing fullscreen flash video alongside 1-2gb of onboard storage!


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Foleo no mention
palmit @ 5/8/2008 2:39:42 PM # Q
WOW, some bitter people on this site. Just mention the word "Foleo".



RE: Foleo no mention
hkklife @ 5/8/2008 4:04:58 PM # Q
That immense resource drain that was the Fooleo's long, protracted development is one of the primary reasons (but far from the ONLY reason!) we are sitting around here yapping while watching the flies buzzing around the carcass of the Palm OS.

And, yes, the 7" EEE PC is fairly toy-like and (IMO) not worthy of all of the hype surrounding it. But I'll probably give the 8.9" EEE a shot running XP before calling it a day. For my purposes (lots of e-mail & word processing/spreadsheets/digital photos) I need an optical drive and a decent-sized keyboard & screen.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Foleo no mention
PacManFoo @ 5/8/2008 4:42:09 PM # Q
When it comes to Palm, most of us have moved on from bitter years ago. At this point I just come here each day to check for the obituary. Of course the real Palm has been dead since the color changed from blue to orange.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm TX (Number 2)
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22, UX50
Casio-EM500
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100
RE: Foleo no mention
palmit @ 5/8/2008 7:24:28 PM # Q
I was liking the idea of an instant on, non-WinOS based device with a fullsize Keybd and good screen that could also use MS word and excel. I didnt like the idea that it was underpowered and email required smartphone linked. Plus I knew that it wasnt going to replace my work provided Thinkpad. But it could of been an option for people who travel and also for doing some lite email\web stuff at home.

RE: Foleo no mention
twrock @ 5/8/2008 7:47:58 PM # Q
But I'll probably give the 8.9" EEE a shot running XP....

I know it is more expensive, but the HP running SUSE looks really good to me, definitely like a real computer and with a real keyboard usable by a full grown man. (And I know you are a dyed in the wool Windows guy, but you really should try to get over that.) :-)

Re: Palmit's comment, I agree mostly. However, I could see the paradigm shift that Palm was trying to create and was intrigued by it. Maybe Hawkins was just too far ahead in his thinking, but the idea that your smartphone IS your mobile computer was an interesting one to consider.


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)

RE: Foleo no mention - now The Lie of Instant-On
SeldomVisitor @ 5/8/2008 8:51:59 PM # Q
The Fooleo was "instant on" =only= if the application that was "instant offed" was specially programmed to be instant on.

I'd cite the TreoCentral post by the Fooleo insider who said so but I'm too lazy to (1) remember his name/ID (sorry! Lousy with names! His was B-something I think; he's a PiC user as well) or (2) try to remember some words he used in the post there; the post was about some specific applicaiton that someone was wondering if it could be ported or something like that and he said "Well, we'd have to modify it to...etc etc etc".


RE: Foleo no mention
hkklife @ 5/8/2008 9:32:39 PM # Q
SV: it wasn't Ben Combee was it?!?

Ron: I know, I know. But there are 3 factors keeping me from jumping from the EEE to the HP:

1. The horrid Via CPU/video hardware in the HP. The aging Celeron + Intel GMA in the EEE just smokes it!

2. The side-mounted touchpad buttons blow

3. They do not appear to be available retail yet anywhere so I cannot fondle one

4. I had already bought a 4G EEE

That said, I expect Asus to pull a Palm and sort of rest on their laurels with the EEE and keep jacking the price up while offering minimal improvements/upgrades. In 6-9 months' time I think we'll have a very nice Atom-powered HP. I'd consider slapping a 7200rpm HD in that sucker and never look back. Of course, I'm hoping that all of this frenzy in the $300-$500 ultraportables ends up forcing the price of small 11-12" screeen "real" notebooks w/ optical drives & multi-core CPUs down to reasonable levels ($<800)

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Foleo no mention
SeldomVisitor @ 5/9/2008 6:14:50 AM # Q
> ...it wasn't Ben Combee was it?!?...

Yup, that's him....let me look up his post on TreoCentral...found it! (*):

== "...OpenOffice would require a lot of work to port to the device. You
== would have to rework the whole graphical interface to use the Foleo's
== system libraries...The program would also need logic changes to work
== well in the "instant-on" application model..."

- http://discussion.treocentral.com/showpost.php?p=1336614&postcount=42

------

(*) Strangely, he only mentioned "instant" ONCE with all his posts on TreoCentral, according to the Advanced Search function. Somehow, I find that pretty hard to believe.

Anywho, he's a reader/poster here occasionally and may still have Fooleo interest so may read this thread and may comment, since I'm just going by what he posted in the first place.

RE: Foleo no mention
Gekko @ 5/9/2008 7:39:10 AM # Q

here is that fooleo demo video by hawkins to Big Moss -

http://tinyurl.com/672v8z


RE: Foleo no mention
Gekko @ 5/9/2008 7:40:25 AM # Q
RE: Foleo no mention
mikecane @ 5/9/2008 4:07:23 PM # Q
>>>I know it is more expensive, but the HP running SUSE looks really good to me, definitely like a real computer and with a real keyboard usable by a full grown man.

SUSE sucks on it. Haven't you been doing your reading? Get the cheapest one and install XP. Then it becomes decent. Still damnably underpowered due to that VIA crap chip, but better than the Linux they threw on (up?) it. The MSI Wind is really the one to look at.

http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/msi-wind-610-in-us/

And if we're getting all nostalgic about past devices, shout out to the still-luscious Gateway Handbook:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Handbook

No, I didn't own one. By the time the specs made it worthwhile, the battery life had turned to absolute crap.

RE: Foleo no mention
hkklife @ 5/9/2008 5:40:29 PM # Q
Thanks for the reminder of the Handbook! Yeah, I really wanted one of those! Gateway really should have kept plugging away at that style of ultraportable. They were a good decade+ ahead of their time!

The MSI unit looks GREAT on paper...but can MSI properly support such a beast? I've had a few of their mobos in the past and they just sort of left 'e hanging in regards to BIOS updates/new drivers/support.



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Foleo no mention
twrock @ 5/9/2008 7:39:53 PM # Q
SUSE sucks on it. Haven't you been doing your reading?

I guess I haven't. I really don't intend to get the HP or any new laptop at the moment, so I didn't look at it further than the initial announcement and size specs. Since I've got an old Dell 700m running Ubuntu (relatively small 12" laptop), I don't have any excuse for upgrading at the moment.

But weren't you an SUSE guy? I thought I remembered that, but maybe I'm mixing that up. I'm pretty sold on Ubuntu, so before I got serious about anything new in hardware, I'd check out if it'd be able to run that well first. But I'm really sure I'm not going to be getting any Eee PC with that overly small form factor.


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)

RE: Foleo no mention
mikecane @ 5/9/2008 9:37:50 PM # Q
No, I'm not pro-Linux at all. Thank (or blame) Nokia for that.

RE: Foleo no mention
BaalthazaaR @ 5/12/2008 10:13:31 AM # Q
No, I'm not pro-Linux at all. Thank (or blame) Nokia for that.

But that is the power of Linux, if it doesn't work to your expectations, you can modify it until it does unlike Windos. Unless you're the typical windos user, in which case you blame the OS and stay hugging your saftey blanket.

RE: Foleo no mention
mikecane @ 5/12/2008 4:21:37 PM # Q
>>>you can modify it until it does

No. I have a LIFE. I DO things. Like go out. Date women. Read books. And know how to properly capitalize.

Imagine that.

RE: Foleo no mention
twrock @ 5/13/2008 3:23:41 AM # Q
^^^ You expect us to believe any of that! Silly Mike.


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
RE: Foleo no mention
mikecane @ 5/13/2008 12:00:45 PM # Q
As far as we all know, all you do tw is something write in Chinese. That's a full life in contrast, huh?

RE: Foleo no mention
twrock @ 5/13/2008 11:20:51 PM # Q
Well, then obviously you have no idea how hard writing in Chinese is! :)


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
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