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The Register: Ericsson Red Hat Bluetooth web pad heads for Europe

Nov 15, 2000, 18:25 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Orlowski)

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"Although the giant halls at Las Vegas are supposed to be individually themed, every one lists "Information Appliances" on its menu. The term is becoming as ubiquitous as "uses electricity"... and is probably about as redundant. Well... if they aren't information appliances what are they supposed to be doing, heating the room? In which case what are they doing at Comdex? We'll give you the full rundown of webpads later but first honours should go to the Ericsson device, which will be the first to reach the UK."

"It's a wireless tablet that shuns the NatSemi and Transmeta chips used in just about every other appliance we've seen this week in favour of StrongARM. The twist is its use of a small Bluetooth base station as the wireless backbone, and although comms are currently provided by a 56k dial-up modem, broadband versions are planned for Q3 2001. The pad uses Red Hat Linux and the Opera browser, rather than Mozilla."

"Ericsson says it will be priced somewhere between a "tethered" appliance and a low-end PC. We got hints that subsidies would figure in the plan, somewhere. The pad should be launched into "five or six" European countries and the US in March, although things will start to get interesting in the second stage. With that broadband version, Ericsson says the appliance will become more of an open platform, and Red Hat is working on a seamless way of downloading appropriate applets, making this the first Linux appliance with pretensions to being a platform, rather than somewhere where the Penguin remains hidden behind the curtains."

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