Revealed: Skype on Linux-based Intel mobile internet gadgets
VoIP on the go
CES Skype is developing a version of its VoIP app for Intel's Mobile Internet Device (MID) concept handheld. Want to see what the software and the chip giant's hardware looks like?
Intel's MID concept: Skype on board
Intel's hardware designs are purely conceptual – they're intended to show device makers what the chip maker's silicon makes possible rather than be products in their own right.
Concept MID with slide-out keyboard
These handhelds are intended to run Linux, the version being developed by the Intel-backed Mobile Internet Linux Platform. Skype's targeting the MILP OS, and it said it expects to get the software ready for release sometime during the first half of 2008.
Not coincidentally (we're sure) the next major release of Intel's Ultra Mobile Platform, based upon the very low power 'Silverthorne' processor, is due to be launched later this quarter.
The Mobile Internet Linux version of Skype in action
'Menlow' this year's incarnation of UMP, is set to consume a quarter of the power the first, Celeron M-based UMPCs did.
Unlike the current UMP CPUs, the A100 and A110, Silverthorne has been designed from the ground up specifically for ultra-mobile systems. The A100 and A110 are basically old 'Dothan' Pentium M chips.
Intel has signed a stack of Taiwanese hardware manufacturers, including HTC, Compal, Asus, Inventec and Quanta, to make MIDs, and it's also picking up brands more familiar to consumers, like Samsung, BenQ, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Lenovo, Panasonic, Toshiba and LG.
If you need some help
I can provide you with a photo of my N800 running Skype and a SIP phone as well as a Mozilla based browser running Google Docs and Google talk. I sorry it's not a concept demo though just your actual purchasable product (£130 play.com).
Maybe Intel needs to get out more.
Thanks to Trolltech
Skype as well as Google Earth use the Trolltech QT toolkit, which is also the basis for KDE. Expect more cool software for Linux and on mobile devices with Qtopia! I've seen a working demo of KDE4 on the OpenMoko!
Why so slow Intel?
Skype has been running on Nokia's Linux-based Internet Tablet gadget for some time now - albeit without video. Perhaps Texas Instrument's ARM processor is easier to program than Intel's?
This may be significant
Skype on Linux. Two very distruptive technologies coming together on (what one would hope will also be) low cost deveices.
You have to admire the Skype guys - putting together a fantastic marketing machine and tons of partners. And all using ye olde Windows PC as a Trojian Horse to get customers used to it.
Linux of course has to benefit enormously also and with these portable devices you might say that the next target is Symbian- or at least Windows Mobile
I wonder if these will be a s cheap or maybe even cheaper than the eeePC.
Using these low end devices as an entry point for linux into the mass market does sound very much like Komatsu's "Surround Caterpillar" strategy that worked so well in that past
Looks like a rip of the Nokia N800 and N810 to me.