Feeds

Be appliances go wireless walkabout

Wireless trinkets for world+dog

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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)

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.