November 7, 2005 12:14 PM PST

Nokia's Linux-based Net device on sale

Nokia has started selling the 770, a pocket-size, Linux-powered gadget for surfing the Web.

The Nokia 770 will be on sale at some retail outlets--and through the company's Web site, for 350 euros, or about $412, the mobile phone giant said in a statement on Monday. Sales in the United States aren't expected until next week, however, and the product was listed as out of stock in some European countries.

Nokia announced the 770 in May along with an open-source project called Maemo, to seek help in developing the 770's software. At the same time, the Finnish company also pledged not to bring patent infringement lawsuits against those developing or using Linux.

Linux got its start on powerful networked computers called servers, but many companies are angling to bring it to PCs and gadgets. MontaVista Software has sold a version of Linux for consumer electronics devices since 2003. And Wind River Systems, which has a long history of software for gadgets and embedded computing devices, introduced its consumer electronics version of Linux in October.

Linux also is making its way into mobile phones, chiefly higher-end models.

The 770 can be used to check e-mail and surf the Web using 802.11b/g wireless networking. The system doesn't use mobile phone networks, though.

It uses the Nokia Internet Tablet 2005 operating system and software suite, but an update due in the first half of 2006 will add support for voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, and instant messaging.

The product has a Texas Instruments 220MHz OMAP 1710 processor and a 4.13-inch, 800-by-480 pixel touch-sensitive display. The 770 is 5.6 inches wide and three quarters of an inch thick.

The 770 also has Bluetooth networking to let it link wirelessly to a mobile phone connected to the Internet. And Bluetooth or USB connections make it possible to transfer data from a personal computer.

 

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