Tag Archives | Smartbooks

We May Need a New Name for Smartbooks. (Good!)

Smartbooks are an emerging class of computing devices that, basically, are to netbooks what netbooks are to notebooks: smaller, cheaper, less powerful, and (possibly) handier. They’re an idea being promoted by chipmakers Qualcomm and Freescale, whose CPUs will be inside the machines (which won’t run Windows).

Trouble is, there’s already a smartbook. It’s a German company, and as TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters is reporting, it’s decided to protect its trademark by going after use of the term to describe these mini-netbooks.

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Would You Buy a Non-Windows, Non-OS X PC?

T-PollThe IDG News Service’s Dan Nystedt has a report today that Taiwanese electronics behemoth Foxconn is planning to build “smartbooks”–even cheaper netbooks, basically–built around ARM processors. Their lack of x86 CPUs means they’ll run some flavor of Linux–perhaps Moblin (backed by Intel) or, eventually, Google’s Chrome oS. We know they won’t run Windows–not unless Microsoft comes up with a really cheap, ARM-compatible version of the OS.

I don’t think that Foxconn’s machines will be aimed at most of the people reading their post–they’re for folks in emerging nations for whom even netbooks are unaffordable. But all the recent news involving netbooks and netbook-like systems running Linux and variants thereof (as well as other alternative OSes such as Symbian) inspired today’s T-Poll.

For decades now, nearly all consumer PCs have run OSes from a grand total of two companies: Microsoft and Apple. (Yes, I know about the advances that Linux has made–I’m a Ubuntu fan–but the OS has yet to gain any permanent traction in the consumer arena and its market share remains tiny.) Either all this new activity relating to other OSes is going to amount to something, or the companies involved are wasting their time.

Queue the T-Poll: