Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Ultranauts recently predicted that the Ultramob (umpc) would find an audience with the open source OS crowd. Many have been quick to point out that the inking capability of Windows XP Tablet PC edition is too useful to lose. I clearly love ink, but I disagree.

Ink is a very useful interface, but for a small touchscreen device, ink is hardly necessary. Touchscreen provides pointer interface. Onscreen thumb board provides text. That's all most people use anyway and Windows is not essential for that.

Where I see open source systems playing a role is in the development of dedicated devices. The great strength of Windows is its versatility. This is, however, also a weakness since it cannot focus on doing one thing at the expense of others. For example, the Nokia Internet tablet runs a flavor of Linux tailored for the specific purpose of accessing the net. Likewise, I believe we will see other Ultramobs designed for specific purposes, running operating systems optimized for that function.

Ultramobs and Open Source


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