Access Sets Its Sights on Mobile Internet Devices

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Access Co. Ltd. is positioning its Linux-based operating system — one of the successors to the Palm OS — as an option for the emerging Mobile Internet Device (MID) market.


Access Linux Platform (ALP) was originally created for smartphones, but so far Access has had little luck getting handset makers interested in it. Now the company is pointing out the advantages of using its mobile operating system with a new class of portable devices.

The heart of any successful MID has to be a highly-functional web browser, and that’s one of ALP’s strengths. It includes Access NetFront, a browser with more than 590 million deployments worldwide.

But ALP is more than just a browser. It’s a full Linux-based operating system that allows users to run legacy Palm OS applications on devices with larger displays than are typical on smartphones.

“The Access Linux Platform is well suited for the flexibility and customizability required to deliver new product concepts in the emerging MID category,” said Seshu Madhavapeddy, general manager Mobile Internet Device business, Texas Instruments.

Access is demonstrating ALP for MIDs running on Texas Instruments Zoom Mobile Development Kit at the LinuxWorld Conference this week. This operating system is available to licensees now.

More About MIDs

A Mobile Internet Device is larger than a handheld or smartphone but smaller than a laptop, and used primarily to browse the Web. Probably the best current example of this is the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, but several more companies reportedly have MIDs in the pipeline.

Intel is one of the biggest backers of this class of devices, and Microsoft has developers working to be sure Windows Mobile will be ready for them.

“Mobile Internet Devices will allow people to browse the web better than they can on today’s smartphones,” said Philip Solis, principal analyst at ABI Research. “Some of these devices will have support for full cellular voice and, in some cases, will replace handsets. This market will begin later this year and grow to about 90 million devices in 2012.”

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 Via Palm Infocenter



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