Linux Delivers Instant-On Tech To New Dell Laptops - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
2/12/2009
08:51 PM
50%
50%

Linux Delivers Instant-On Tech To New Dell Laptops

Does a laptop that goes up to a full day between charges sound appealing? Well, here it comes, and Linux is helping to make it happen.

Does a laptop that goes up to a full day between charges sound appealing? Well, here it comes, and Linux is helping to make it happen.According to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, two of Dell's Latitude laptop PCs will be the first to ship with the company's Linux-based Latitude ON technology. While Dell is marketing Latitude ON mostly as a quick and easy way to access Microsoft Exchange data without booting or waking a Windows XP or Vista laptop, it actually provides a functional Linux desktop environment -- including a Web browser and viewers for Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF documents.

Latitude ON, which ships as an embedded software module on its own chip-on-a-chip hardware subsystem, also includes device drivers for the Latitude's Wi-Fi and 3G networking hardware: "In other words, with these laptops you're never more than a few seconds away from your e-mail and your favorite Web sites . . . It also means that, if you use the embedded Linux desktop, you'll have a laptop that could go up to a day between charges instead of mere hours. I really, really like the sound of a desktop that I can run non-stop on transcontinential flights." Like other instant-on desktop technologies, this one will handle software and system updates via vendor-provided firmware upgrades. Dell developed the custom Linux desktop environment in conjunction with Novell; the system actually uses a modified version of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop combined with an embedded MontaVista Linux OS.

I have expressed doubts in the past about the utility of Linux-based instant-on laptop technology. If Dell's Latitude ON products work as advertised, however, it could provide a truly significant jump in laptop battery life -- one area of laptop technology where major improvements have long been few and far between.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Trends Accelerating Edge Computing
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/8/2020
Commentary
Is Cloud Migration a Path to Carbon Footprint Reduction?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  10/5/2020
News
IT Spending, Priorities, Projects: What's Ahead in 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  10/2/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
[Special Report] Edge Computing: An IT Platform for the New Enterprise
Edge computing is poised to make a major splash within the next generation of corporate IT architectures. Here's what you need to know!
Slideshows
Flash Poll