“Big news on the UMPC front this morning folks. Looks like Intel is shedding the Origami gorilla (read: Microsoft) as they prep a Linux-based platform to compete with Vista and XP-based UMPCs. Intel will unveil their new MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing later this week.” – Engadget.

UMPCThe TeleRead take: So does this mean that the outrageous prices of UMPCs, generally above $1,000, will drop a little? I’m keen, keen, keen on e-book-capable machines running linux, by the way. The more Microsoft alternatives, the less chance of Richmond controlling e-book formats. I hope that Bill McCoy and the rest of the gang at Adobe—plus people at other vendors—will go full blast after the UMPC market if/when prices decline sufficiently.

And speaking of Microsoft vs. Adobe: Techmeme roundup on Microsoft’s Flash rival.

Related: Google News UMPC items, plus Laptop Logic and UMPC Portal. Also see A UMPC Prototype at IDF, from Gotta Be Mobile. It’s Vista-powered.


  1. This is pretty exciting. I’m a lot more likely to buy a UMPC if it does not run Windows. However, from an ebook angle, what ebook reading software has Linux versions, does anybody know?

  2. FBReader, various PDF readers—those are just two that come to mind. One interesting Linux angle is the DRM questions. Some DRM providers, beyond the Redmond guys, act as if Linux does exist. And yet the DMCA here in the States prohibits people from circumventing DMCA. Don’t you just love the boys in Washington?

    Meanwhile I notice that Microsoft has given an execution date, so to speak, for XP. And Vista is more DRM-infested than ever. Oh, how I’m rooting for the L team(s)! – Davd

  3. “what ebook reading software has Linux versions, does anybody know?”

    I have the Pepperpad 3 and Mobipocket comes installed on it. I’m pretty much Linux illiterate so I haven’t attempted to run any other reader programs on it.

  4. FBReader is the most widely available e-book reader for Linux. It was written for small screens, and so should work well on MID’s. Since the web browser is Mozilla-based, dotReader should also work. At present the only DRM-ed e-book reader for Linux is Mobipocket, but it is only available from vendor’s with a contract with Mobipocket. It requires Java, which excludes the Nokia N800 but should be ok on Intel MID’s. Adobe says that Digital Editions will eventually be available for Linux.

    One problem for Linux is that the multiple versions discourage software vendors, because of the development and support costs. This seems particularly true of readers with DRM. If Intel’s MID provides a standard Linux software platform and a large user base, this may encourage more e-reader software to make the jump to Linux.

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