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FrontPath stomps on pirate Transmeta BeOS webpad

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Updated S3 spin-off Frontpath, the maker of the ProGear Web pad, says it has no connection with a company producing an identical product, but with a BeOS twist.

The mysterious Envivid has announced details of what it calls the "eQ ProGear" GSM-ready wireless web appliance. The Envivid web site describes a device apparently identical to Frontpath's ProGear -
like ProGear, is also based on Transmeta's Crusoe processor - the difference being that it runs the BeOS operating system and not Linux.

Envivid also lists Frontpath (and Be Inc.) as partners. But it appears that Envivid has appropriated the ProGear brand without Frontpath's permission.

"It is not approved, we have no formal relationship, and we've asked them before and will ask them again to remove it," a spokesperson for Frontpath told us today. Envivid has no right to use the webpad image, which is a reduced version of Frontpath's ProGear Linux-based appliance.

Transmeta, which has been working with Frontpath for some time to produce ProGear, says it has no formal relationship with Envivid either and an executive told us he'd never heard of the company.

What little information there is on Envivid's website is riddled with spelling mistakes and inconsistencies. The front page simply reads "Stay tuned! More information is coming very soon executive@envivid.com)". The product page promises an "immserive" experience and makes two references to "PCMIA" cards.

The site also uses an invalid robots.txt file which is simply an older version of the front page of the site (it's HTML), and the meta tags reveal it was designed using an evaluation copy of Visual Page for Macintosh, a package no longer sold or supported by Symantec.

A message on the Envivid answering machine still refers to Kosyn Communications - the name the company traded under (supposing there was any trade) until recently, when it says it merged with Imaginedia. Earlier this year Kosyn claimed to be working on a BeIA (not BeOS) wireless appliance it then called the Kopilot.

Envivid has yet to reply to our phone messages or emails.

Update

Be Inc tells us it can't comment on OEM partnerships, and although it's possible that Envivid may have participated in developer programs, said a spokesman, company policy was not to comment on participants. We're hoping for a uh, well more useful answer tomorrow.

Envivid's home page has changed... it doesn't have any links to any other information on the site, but now contains a graphic.

Speaking of which, thanks to the reader who pointed out in that Envivid's purloined graphic of the Frontpath ProGear appliance, the device can still be seen pointing to... Frontpath's home page. ®

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