Intel pays crafty homage to netbook pioneer Psion
Updated Lawsuit-launching mini-laptop appears among cool kit
IDF Never say Intel executives aren't cheeky so-and-sos. On a slide all-too-briefly shown during his 'What is Cool' presentation, Intel Executive VP Dadi Perlmutter showed a selection of netbooks including the... er.... Psion Teklogix Netbook.
This machine was launched in the late 1990s. Production of the machine ended in 2003, though Psion maintains it still sells the thing, racking up revenues of $13,650 as of March this year, down from a peak of just over $2m in 2006.
That Perlmutter slide in full
Register Readers will recall this is the device over which Psion attempted to sue the chip giant for claiming the term 'netbook' was generic rather than, as Psion maintained, a trademark.
Psion countersued Intel after the chip giant asked the US court in February 2009 to invalidate Psion's trademark. Intel's complaint came in response to threats from Psion demanding it stop using 'netbook' generically.
The two combatants - as is usually the case in these fights - reached an agreement in May before they had their day in court, and now Intel can use 'netbook' generically.
Psion said at the time it "will voluntarily withdraw all of its trademark registrations for ‘Netbook’". It also agreed to "waive all its rights against third-parties in respect of past, current or future use of the ‘Netbook’ term".
Psion's Teklogix Netbook: according to Intel, one of today's coolest mini-laptops
And how does Intel express its thanks: it lists a defunct mini-laptop among today's hottest netbooks.
Or, of course, one of the chip giant's PowerPoint operatives has dropped something of a clanger... ®
Intel - Psion connection
There is an Intel connection to the Psion netBook in that the CPU is/was a StrongARM designed by DEC but in its last years it was fabricated by Intel.
Yes, the MC400 IS cool...
I still use one now and then as it can read the Word processing files from my S3c, and editing large documents is better on the larger screen.
The 'almost forever' battery life doesn't hurt, either.
Has a permanent place on my nightstand.
(Not used as an alarm clock. It's the games I have on it... )
A pity that they didn't show the REAL netBook. Now that was REALLY cool.. The netBook Pro is a mere travesty of an improvement of the older EPOC machine. I have both of these machines, and while with the original netBook you can do almost everything, with the netBook Pro you can do almost nothing. The design changes in the Pro version are crude in the extreme, and the quiescent current drain can empty the batteries in a couple of weeks. I still use the netBook for many things, but have yet to find a use for the Pro. I suppose I could use it for a door stop, though
Stupidity rather than conspiracy
Somehow I suspect some junior person in Intel was told to put a slide show together featuring photos of 'netbooks'.
They probably just typed the word into Google images or Flickr and lots of photos of the Psion kept turning up. So, not knowing any better and just assuming it was the same as any other netBook™, they included it.
Basically, it's karma balancing out all those Microsoft 'Inaudibles'.
It is rather cool (well as long as it's not running WinCE) but probably not as cool as the MC400 (now that really was cool).