The Next Netbooks

From TechCrunch:

Small screens, small keyboards and underpowered hardware make for a less than stellar Netbook user experience

users will download Jolicloud to their Netbooks and then install it. Whatever operating system and software is on the computer will be wiped off, and replaced with a stripped down Linux operating system and custom browser.

Asterisk@Home – now Trixbox – does this and it’s a great way to experience the product when you’ve got a machine you can wipe clean. Are netbook folks going to do that? What’s their recourse if they decide to go back?

Asus Eee 4G and HP Jornada 620LX
Creative Commons License photo credit: geognerd
Netbooks are so different from normal laptops and desktops that they need their own tailored operating system. Until now that appeared to be Windows XP, which is the OS of choice for Netbook manufacturers.

Between GNU, Linux, the BSDs and a host of supporting tools, it’s hard to imagine why you’d tailor a specialized OS atop something you couldn’t completely get to, understand, update. And there, too, it’s great but tough to go against Apple’s phone running OS X. There’s freedom to build and then building excellence.  They’re not at all mutually exclusive. It can be tough to keep it going beyond scratching an itch, but overnight success generally takes awhile and the money to do it. It seems mobile platforms that have worked have had a tight coupling with Another Machine with easier access, additional apps, more juice. Is a part of Netbooks’ Being hooking into something else and syncing? What gets synced? (docs, photos, drawings?)

With Apple’s phone and OS, you’re connected almost always (sans where AT&T’s shitty network bites you … but they’re working on it with available WiFi), and still you hook up to your laptop or workstation and do a lot more. Palms, the Audrey, the ipod, and iphone – Netbook?

By Steve McNally

I build products, teams and business lines that blend publishing, marketing and advertising technologies for global brands and startups.