MeeGo avrà più successo del Symbian?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series IT Economy

C’è stato poco tempo fa il Mobile World Congress di Barcellona. Vista la vicinanza con il rilascio di iPad, e l’aggressività di Apple (che sositene essere un forte competitor Mobile), vale la pena fare qualche rilfessione.

Tra le tante presentazioni fatte, mertiano una citazione Windows Mobile 7 e MeeGo.

Con Windows Mobile Microsoft punta fare concorrenza diretta ad Apple, ma dovremo aspettare il Natale 2010 per vedere cosa succederà. Di certo il nuovo sistema operativo di Redmond è più esigente in fatto di risorse e quindi speriamo le usi bene….

Per quanto riguarda MeeGo, ecco come viene presentato dalla Linux Foundation:

SAN FRANCISCO, February 15, 2010 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced it will host the MeeGo project, the open source software platform for the next generation of computing devices. MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin™ and Nokia’s Maemo projects into one Linux-based platform.

MeeGo è un prodotto patrocinato dalla Linux Fondation, e portato attivamente avanti da Nokia ed Intel.  Si tratta di una risposta nella competizione mobile, che Nokia vede insidiata da Microsoft e Apple.

Non ci è chiaro il destino del Symbian, il sistema operativo ufficiale di Nokia che quindi a questo punto darei per morto e sepolto; leggete idee e opinioni sul MeeGo, piuttosto.

Asus EEE-PC better then Mac Air?

Finally I managed to buy a Asus EEE PC 700  this week. I would thanks a lot Next Store and its kindly clerks, which I will prefer in future to Mediaword :)
If you are at Milan and you plan to buy it, Next Store is a good choice.

There are a lot of sites and articles around the net about the EEE-PC, because it is a very new article in the IT consumer world.

The EEE PC is the First  full featured PC sold at 300 euros. The Register tries also to compare it with the Mac Air, and we'll see why this is not a so crazy idea.
In these days in Italy was launched an overpriced version (320 euros) with Windows XP preinstalled. We are waiting also the more powerful version (EEEPC 900) at 400 euros. Anyway, what do the product is the 300 euro price: powerful and richer model at an higher price are no so stunning as the EEE PC 700.

Introduction: the hardware

The Asus EEE PC come with 3-usb 2.0 ports, and one SD Card reader. It is expandable a lot, considering it has the same usb ports of my Lenovo Thinkpad R60.  It has no DVD reader, but it is very small and tight. The  battery charger is similar to that of a GSM phone, and it sounds great because of its reduced weight.
The screen is tiny, but very very bright, so it can work if you are not too much greedy as me.

Even if the keyboard is too small, and the fan is noisy, for the rest EEEPC looks well.
With an external monitor&keyboard attached,  your trouble are reduced, at least at home.
You can compare it to a Mac Mini, sold at 600 euros, which has a similar but powerful hardware: so having half the ram for the EEEPC is not a surprise.
But the EEEPC 701 is easy to expand, and on Internet some guys managed to install 2Gb of RAM.
And it is not shipped by deafult with windows but with a linux operating system… another big news, isn't it?


I code every day. So in my spare time, at home, I have two priorities: my girlfriends, and games.
And EEE-PC come with some funny games like Frozen Bubble, so it is definitively a very good machine.

 Vodafone & EEE-PC

In Italy, Telecom Italia sells a branded version of EEE-PC, with its USB connect key. If you have a Vodafone Connect Key, I have found an italian article to try to connect it. I will do some tests, and then translate it in English if it is worth of it.

The Software…

The operating system is a commercial version of Linux. Anyway it is well packaged, and it is reasonable fast. The File Manager does not start in a snap, but it could be worst.

…the ideas

Because is  heavly focused on software development, I am searching a set of article to how build a small cluster of EEE-PC, for doing small distributed computing. The cluster should be easy to set up, with no installation of new operating system, and should have decent performance.
I will report  my experiments in the next month.

Hacking it [Update on 11 june 2008]

Ubuntu has relased a specilized version of ubuntu linux

Conclusion: Why it is great

All these stuff fit in about 300 euros, and there is no decent PDA  at this price…even a good Nokia GSM phone is difficult to find for a such price. The EEE-PC weights less then 1 Kg, and it is very easy to carry on. The webcam is good if you have sufficient light to give it, and you can record at 44.1 khz your voice.
Skype comes preinstalled, giving you a lot of freedom with its VoiceOverIP technology.



iPhone success is hard

iPhone is a very nice project, well designed and manufactered, but the market addressed is
an hard bet for Apple.
Big players are already on the ground: Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony for instance.

So it is difficult to play in such market, and some analysts said  "the touch screen was not successful for GSM/phone products".

The launch of "iPod touch" addressed this fear in my own opinion, because the design of the iPhone is very cool, and you can try to at least have it survive ipod-izing it.

Last and more important factor, the iPhone is locked by one carrier in U.S., and the same will happen in U.K.

This is a very greedy move; big player like Nokia are trying to unbundle their product form the carrier, selling phones which can use multiple wireless network (wi-fi, skype, gsm/edge/umts).

Google is doing the same, from the software perspective using the Android project.

So Apple is always smart, but in the portable phone market you must be also price-affordable, fast in releasing new models, and open for working with other competitor.

All things Steve Jobs is not very good at the present time.

Update: At April 2008, Telecom Italy will carry on UMTS iPhones in Italy. I will write an article on them, to understand if the product is a bit less locked.