Linux PDA survives death rumors

Linux fans were saddened to learn of the death of Yopy, the long-awaited Linux-based PDA, earlier this week.

Linux fans were saddened to learn of the death of Yopy, the long-awaited Linux-based PDA, earlier this week. But the rumors of Yopy's death appear to have been exaggerated.

A representative of Samsung, developer G.Mate's partner in the project, told CNET News.com at this week's Consumer Electonics Show in Las Vegas that Yopy had been cancelled, following the company's announcement of the Nexio PDA, powered by Microsoft's Windows CE.

However, G.Mate says the project is still on, and in fact the company is already selling Yopy via its Web site. G.Mate said that its partner is Samsung Electro-Mechanics, a distinct division from Samsung Electronics, maker of the Nexio.

Linux has begun to make its way into a range of new PDAs from manufacturers as diverse as Sharp, Samsung and Royal Consumer Information Products--which has announced a low-cost device to be offered alongside Royal's shredders and laminators. Because the operating system is developed on an open source model, requiring the code and its improvements to be freely available to any developer, devices based on Linux can be much cheaper to make than those which must license an operating system.

Linux also has the advantage that it can scale up to the server level, where it has become popular for serving Web pages. It is seen as one of the main potential competitors to Windows on all platforms.

Yopy was one of the first Linux PDAs to be announced, and development devices shipped last year. However, the device has since been redesigned with an unusual clamshell form factor featuring an unconventional keyboard.

G.Mate began taking orders for Yopy late last year, after a long wait, and said it would begin shipping orders on December 21st. The company said it hopes to begin selling Yopy through retail channels in the U.S. and elsewhere early this year.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.

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