Monday, August 18, 2008

Increasing Battery Life by 80% "Instantly"

So, what if you could instantly increase your laptop battery life by 80% - AND still be able to access the web, instant message? Oh yeah, and be able to have your computer come on instantly...

Yeah, baby!

Well it seems like Dell (taking a cue from the "nettop" sub-compact notebook makers Eee PC, et al) is making it a reality on their newly announced Latitude E4200 and E4300 notebooks.

The magic comes by way of a fully-dedicated, Linux-based system-on-a-chip. This low-power ARM processor and flash memory compbo run completely independently of the main CPU and storage. This means you don't have to wait for your computer to go through a 5 minute boot process just to surf or have a quick IM!

The embedded OS is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and has a built-in Firefox-based browser and customer email, calendar and contacts application, a PDF viewer, a MS office document viewer and the drivers that are needed to use the wireless radio.

There is also talk of getting an IM client and making Flash and Java work in the browser - but that may come in the next release.

I think this is one more nail in the coffin in the long-term prospects for Windows as we know it today. If this concept catches on (and I really can't see why it wouldn't) - people would be getting a free test drive of Linux and I'd bet that people would use this type of browse-only functionality (if they make it EASY to boot) about 30% of the time - maybe even more.

That means as people get used to using Linux, and have confidence in it, they may just opt to give it a try on the desktop as well.

That would mean you could actually USE a computer with Vista on it...

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