I popped down to Boston today to see Litl’s internet computer and catch up with friends who now work for Litl. Unfortunately I did not see Havoc there (probably release partying too much or more likely coding) but a number of GNOME folk and others who I worked with at OLPC did show up. (I’m not going to name names because I will inevitably leave someone out).
In any case the Litl webbook looks promising. Finally someone has looked at what a target group of consumers wanted and designed a simplified interface around services instead of just dropping a Linux distribution in and saying here you go. Did they hit the mark, only time can tell but for Linux on devices to win in this area we need this sort of targeted design instead of chasing the windows generic computing market. It is how Apple won with the iPod and iPhone. Anyone who reads my blog should know my stance on this issue so I won’t beat it to death.
Some key innovative features here are
- Browser centric design
- Easel mode in which the UI accommodates the device’s configuration
- Instant sharing and mobile configs – if one breaks you can log in from another and continue whatever you were doing
- Almost zero maintenance and setup (you still need to tell it who your friends are)
Sure we have some of these features being developed in GNOME (it doesn’t come as a surprise since a lot of the UI is based on work done in GNOME and other GNOME related projects like the OLPC) but this is the first complete commercial offering which brings those features into one consumer friendly device with a laptop form factor.
As someone who is proud of GNOME’s accomplishments I wish Litl the best of luck and thank them for the code they have contributed back to the community. As a Foundation member I hope to see even more collaboration between them and the foundation in the future. Keep up the awesome work!!![read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]