Foxconn working on 'sub-£100' ARM-based Linux netbooks
True Small, Cheap Computers at last?
Will ARM-based netbooks retail for under £100? The Taiwanese contract manufacturer behind the Foxconn brand seems to think so.
A Hon Hai Precision staffer - one Young Liu, special assistant to the company's CEO - admitted this week that "we have a few smartbook projects and I think there is demand for these sub-$200 devices".
That's US dollars, by the way, rather than Taiwan's currency of the same name. That comes to around 97 quid.
Not that they're likely to retail here for that - import duty and VAT will ensure the cost is higher. But it does suggest that they will be rather less pricey than the £300-400 Atom-based netbooks typically command these days.
The netbooks will use Linux rather than Windows, Liu added. Undoubtedly, that's for cost-reduction reasons, though Microsoft has yet to say whether its upcoming netbook-oriented Windows 7 release, Starter Edition, will be tweaked to support ARM-based netbooks. ®
Similar to the Touch Book?
Something like Always Innovating's Touch Book then, but slightly cheaper... maybe.
current netbooks (@PaulM)
I'm currently using an Acer Aspire One for web development, I run a local instance of apache and use perl/CGI and mysql to run the backend. Obviously I'm running linux on this machine because it's a)better than windows and b)not crippled. The ARM based netbooks should have similar hardware capabilities.
On a slightly off-topic note Visual Basic is shit. It's an awful abomination of a language.
I am perfectly aware that you can do ARM Linux cross development on a desk top PC.
However, if I was to buy a Linux netbook I would want to be able to development work such as running perl scripts on my netbook.
My point is that a Linux netbook is of little more use than a mobile phone if it can not be used for simple development. Given that mobile companies will give you a PDA mobile phone free as part of a mobile phone contract then it really is more sensible to buy a PDA mobile phone than a Linux netbook.
I am sick and tired of bloatware. If I have a PC in my pocket that is as powerful as a desktop PC from 10 years ago then I want to be able to do development on my netbook.
I wonder if these limitations apply also to XP netbooks. Are they similarily crippled so that you can not develop simple Visual Basic using an XP netbook?
Clearly you don't use linux or know anything about the breadth of its architecture support. The GNU C compiler collection is fully supported on ARM cpus and Ubuntu have already released a complete version of their distro for ARM, many major distributions support ARM and Adobe have been working closely with ARM to ensure flash works fluidly on ARM systems for a good while now.
Next time do a little research.
Linux development must be supported on ARM netbooks
The ARM processor is a low power high performance processor well suited for netbooks.
Unfortunately the ARM processor is not often used in netbooks. This means that to use Linux software on an ARM based netbook a "C" compiler and other utilities such as "perl" and "bash" must be supplied to compile its source code for the ARM processor. Linux software is described as being "Open source" software. Linux software is not always available in compiled form for none Intel processors and so such systems are useless without compilers.
What I would like to know is whether these netbooks will be supplied with a basic "C" development system? A basic set of development utilities is very small and so could be easily provided in the FLASH memory supplied with these systems. Alternatively a "C" compiler could be provided on CD for these systems so long as they support an external CD drive?
I am sure that someone will say "Ah but all people want to do with these systems is to surf the web and edit a memo". My answer to them is that you can do this using a mobile phone. A real Linux system must have the ability to run thousands of different programs.