Sharp Offers Japan-Only Linux Mini-Note - InformationWeek

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9/1/2009
10:51 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Sharp Offers Japan-Only Linux Mini-Note

Linux is always looking for new markets, and now it might have one via the ultra-small notebook space: Japan.

Linux is always looking for new markets, and now it might have one via the ultra-small notebook space: Japan.

Sharp's announced the PC-Z1 -- brand name: "NetWalker" -- a product that could double as a slightly oversized mobile phone or a just-right mini-notebook. It runs an Ubuntu derivative (from the look of it, Netbook Remix or some variant thereof) and will have a street price of about $479 or ¥45,000.

Like a lot of other Japanese computing products, there don't appear to be plans to sell it directly overseas -- but that won't stop some people I know from attempting to pick one up through their local 110/220V store or other import outlet.

What I'm most curious about, though, is the impact of Linux in a market where most people do their computing via phone. In other words, there's a good deal less direct reliance on Windows or the Mac, so there's a fair chance one of the more user-friendly Linux could make inroads there. My original bet had been Android, but Ubuntu may well even be the better choice.

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