HP Netbooks Sport Their Own Linux Interface

Oct 30, 2008

HP is now entering the second round of the Netbook match. As advertized, Atom instead of VIA, slimmer, more affordable and most importantly, available with Linux.

Hardware giant Hewlett-Packard has now confirmed rumors that it is venturing into a Linux solution of its own. We're not talking about a complete Linux distribution, but rather a graphical interface built on top of Ubuntu.

HP's so-called Mediastyle interface (not at all unlike Apple's TV interface) is meant to hide Linux from its users. It offers quick access to music, IM, photos, videos and, naturally, email and the Web. The Linux model adds MIE to its name, meaning Mobile Internet Experience. HP is thereby trying to shy as much as possible from the "Linux" name. Hence the statement from Carlos Montalvo, VP of marketing for the Personal Systems Group at HP, in an article in news.cnet that "It's important we made sure that Linux does not manifest itself to the user."

Pictures of the Mediastyle interface have started to appear on the Web and Laptopmag.com has released a video. Looks pretty good.

The first HP Mini 1000s should start appearing in December and the Linux MIEs around January. Prices should start below $400, with the MIE at about $379.

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