Linux PDA featuring Bluetooth on sale by summer

The Mitac Cat PDA will feature Bluetooth connectivity in addition to its fast, mobile, Linux-based OS for less than $200

The Mitac Cat PDA, a handheld computer powered by the Linux operating system, will go into mass production with a view to selling on the Taiwanese consumer market in the next three months, the company confirmed at the CeBIT computer show in Hanover on Thursday.

The product will come with the Linpus Linux 0.7, a multilingual version of the Linux operating system, and feature Bluetooth connectivity, a perk that was also demonstrated at CeBIT. Mitac executive (AVP) Lon Cheng also revealed that the product will be priced betwteen $150 and $199 in US money.

Click here to see a picture of the Mitac Cat

Last year Samsung’s announced Yopi, a PDA running on Linux and Compaq also revealed plans to port Linux to its iPaq handheld computer, but details of when fans of the Linux operating system are likely to see the products have been scarce.

Fellow Taiwanese firm Linpus also today launched a version of Linux operating system, which it boasts provides full support for a number of Asian languages including Chinese, Korean and Japanese along with software tools for developing PDA applications for Linux.

Mitac's Cat PDA joins a long list of mobile devices communicating over Bluetooth at this years show. The fledgling shortwave radio technology designed to eradicate the need for wires connecting computers and peripherals, is seeing considerable acceptance among manufacturers.

The Linpus Linux Internet Appliance Software Development Kit (SDK) for Linux is designed to encourage developers to create the applications that would make its PDA. Mitac demonstrated the product with a window manager, calculator, dictionary, memo pad, address book and scheduler.

It is one of just a handful of handheld computers powered by the open source operating system. Although a popular high-end sever and desktop operating system among technology enthusiasts, Linux is as yet unproven as a user-friendly handheld platform.

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