Take some known innovators in the tech world, put them in a room with some felt-tip pens, paper and the command to mash up a few topical niches, and you might end up with the seven-strong group that today announced their intention to bring a Linux-based UMPC to the market in early 2009.
As well as Mozilla, ARM and Samsung, partners include Texas Instruments, MontaVista, Movial and Marvell Technologies - Microsoft, despite coining the UMPC moniker, is conspicuous by its absence - and the device they have in their sights is an open-source version of Nokia's N800 Internet Tablet. Namely, a compact unit that relies on internet applications rather than demanding standalone software.
"You can attach to the web and do email and browsing without all the baggage of a PC and Windows and Office. There are web-based alternatives to all that" Jim Ready, CTO MontaVista
The eventual result would be a reference platform comprising of chip design, Debian-based Linux distro, MontaVista's OS, Mozilla's browser and then integrated hardware management and wireless networking along with a basic set of entertainment software. They expect to finalise the platform's development early 2008.