It’s been interesting to see the reaction to the PsiXpda around the internet, and many of you are commenting on the choice of the Operating System that we currently ship with the machine, namely Windows XP.
One of the interesting debates going on around computers in both the netbook and pocket computer form factor is that there is no clear choice of an OS that does everything for every consumer. The options come down to either a version of Linux or a version of Microsoft Windows.
Let’s address the Linux question first of all. The specs of the PsiXpda (Intel Z510, 1GB Ram) can easily accommodate the latest versions of Ubuntu – in fact we have a number of test units running Ubuntu right now. It’s also relatively easy (if you know what you are doing) to install Ubuntu yourself by booting your PsiXpda from a USB key.
But Linux is not for everyone, and while it has some major benefits, and most distributions come with your PIM software and Office based applications, the majority of people we’ve spoken to want something that is familiar to them and (in many cases) familiar to their IT department. Having Linux is nice, but if you need to run some bespoke software to talk to your corporate database, the chances are you will need to be running Windows.
Which leaves the choice as being one of Windows XP or Windows 7. Again, we’ve got Windows 7 running on test machines here, but we don’t think that driver support is quite ready yet, plus the current licensing cost of the versions of Windows 7 that aren’t the netbook/starter edition are quite high and would impact on our retail cost.
So that leaves one choice. Windows XP. It’s dependable and there is a lot of software out there for the device. it works out of the box, and is familiar to most people. Most of all Windows XP provides you a lot of options for third party software, including web browser, VPN clients, banking software or whatever you and your company already run on your desktops. Plus your IT department’s favourite security package!