Feeds

Be appliances go wireless walkabout

Wireless trinkets for world+dog

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Be has put some flesh on its intention to turn its BeIA platform into a credible mobile appliance OS.

The company has struck a deal to support Metricom's upgraded high speed Ricochet network. Metricom has been in the wireless data business for five years, offering wireless data to users in the Bay Area, Seattle and Washington DC. But big investments from Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures, and random billing specialist MCI Worldcom late last year have given it the clout to invest in 128Kbps networks in twenty one US locations. The first of these go live this summer.

This modest little announcement promises to add up to more than the sum of its parts. Naturally, Be gets a partner to make BeIA into a truly mobile platform. It's already struck deals with Proxim and Solopoint, but these are for limited-range home wireless networks, rather than the roaming data that Europeans are already familiar with, albeit in a very limited form, with GSM. And Metricom gets the chance of a bite at a consumer market far bigger than its loyal band of subscribers.

All this is assuming that Be can find OEMs who'll bite, and that Metricom can market the idea of wireless data to world+dog. That's a couple of big Ifs.

Right now Ricochet users are a well heeled and technically savvy lot, who aren't ashamed of strapping an unsightly slab of metal to the back of their notebook PC. And thanks to Transmeta's promise of all-day mobile appliances that run x86-compatible operating systems, and hence x86-compatible applications, Be has hit something of a conundrum.

It's not clear that the cut down BeIA platform will offer that much of an advantage over a mobile implementation of the full x86 BeOS. In fact, you can envisage losing as much as you gain.

On the other hand, if Metricom can deliver on its promise of rolling out high-speed data in the important US metropolitan areas, and Be can deliver on getting BeIA to do the fundamentals - competent browsing, email and security - then both parties have a crack at competing in vertical markets. On paper, freight, medical and the field workers for the big utilities should be able to be kitted out better terms, and for less dosh, than any Wintel or any other appliance combination can promise right now. ®

Related Story

BeOS goes mobile, announces Gassee (we think)

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?