There is a MSI Wind review over on Laptop Magazine. I am excited about these small form factor laptops, mainly due to their low price and inclusion of Linux. The thing that strikes me the most about the MSI Wind is that it is using SUSE Linux for the Linux flavor. Now, it isn’t just the OpenSUSE version but it is based on the Enterprise (presumably desktop or SLED) release. I would infer that this means it will have support from Novell as well – something lacking on many other attempts. Of course, some Linux zealots will be upset about SUSE, however any Linux zealot worth his zeal will have no trouble installing his favorite flavor of Linux over SUSE.
The strength of these platforms in the business environment is a somewhat unknown factor. If we can get a VPN and remote desktop working though, and I see no reason why we’d have a problem, they would make excellent road warrior companions. At much less than half the price of the laptops we normally send out, this is more cost effective and will hopefully require less maintenance.
It is still too early to tell how much these will influence the business environment, however I suspect that they will be more popular than most people think – especially among people who need a high powered workstation at work rather than a laptop.
The Dell Inspiron Mini is the the latest to jump into the UMPC fray. I’m excited about Dell because the company I work for will only buy Dell and this means that possibly we can get one of these to try it out. If I do happen to get my hands on one I will definitely write about it here. The big disappointment here is the price. All indications were that it was going to be a little cheaper than it ended up being. I spec’d out the Ubuntu version next to the XP version and Ubuntu is more expensive if all other options are equal. Go figure. Makes me wonder how much Microsoft pays these people. Of course I’m sure it would be easy enough to reload the XP Home laptop with Ubuntu. With my eppbuy cart I’m showing a difference of $25. A free operating system costs more than a commercial one. Got to love it.