Feeds

Palm vets put Skype on a thumb drive

VoIP to go

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

It isn't quite a phone, but it soon will be possible to take a Skype client with you and plug it into a barenaked PC equipped with a USB port. U3, the Silicon Valley start-up launched by Palm veterans earlier this year, says it will support a portable Skype on its flash-based platform from this fall.

U3 already supports a portable email client and a bunch of encryption, caching and backup software titles. The Mozilla Foundation has pledged to make Portable Firefox and Portable Thunderbird conform to the U3 specification. Yesterday, in addition to Skype, U3 also announced support for ICQ.

It's hard to underestimate the ubiquity of the internet cafe in urban Asia, the most promising market for U3. As we've noted before, when Intel talks about 'mobility' it means lugging around several pounds of short-life hardware, cables, power supplies and dongles with you. But the most mobile technology of all is no technology at all.

Google and Yahoo! are offering old-style bureau computing to the public where the only dependency is on a browser. But given the well-publicized privacy concerns U3 may offer an attractive option.

More than two years ago we wrote about a self-funded start-up Zippy with a similar idea, which involved putting a Notes-style client on a USB stick, and charging a subscription, but the venture failed to find support. But by winning some important backing, and gathering developers behind a specification, U3 looks to have a head start.

U3 was launched at the CES show in January, is backed by two of the largest CF manufacturers San Disk and M-Systems. Its executive team includes CEO Kate Purmal, one of the first Palm employees, and Andrea Butter, the former Palm marketing chief who wrote a book about the PDA venture. ®

Related stories

U3 signs first USB Flash drive makers
New SanDisk drive lets your fingers do the storing
U3 launches USB drive-hosted app 'standard'
Email on a memory stick
Zippy - a Lotus Notes for the rest of us

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.