Palm subnotebook Linux version revealed

Palm revealed to LinuxWorld conferees yesterday that remote access software with SSL security will bundle with its upcoming Foleo sub-mini-notebook, and the 'smartphone accessory' that Palm expects to become its top-selling product will run Wind River Linux. Monday's pre-LinuxWorld meeting with Palm developers saw stacks of the new device distributed with Wind River SDKs.

When stacked up against the other sub-mini-notebooks in the <$300 range, such as the FIC-Intel Eee, the $600 price tag (with $100 rebate) for the Foleo appears puzzling; that is, until you consider what else is on the Palm grapevine — the $200 'Gandolf'. Take your $100 rebate, buy the $200 Gandolf, and Palm gets two sales. Until the Gandolf is ready, early adopters of the Foleo will drive up Treo sales a bit, which is another win.

Great idea, but the Gandalf is yesterday's Tungsten W with 3G, dressed up in iPhone drag, and the Foleo really needs a 3G data link, for Wi-Fi is nowhere near universally available. Now, if Palm would bundle the Foleo with the SMS Technology M500 quad-band wrist phone and add a dialer/address book loader on the Foleo for the $820 M500 so a stylus isn't needed to dial, that would be a killer app... and so darned geekalicious it would sell like Denuvian hotcakes on the USS Voyager.

Does the Wind River SDK news make the Foleo more viable? And, would you strap on a wrist phone? Inquiring minds want to know.

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