TechCrunch a well known Weblog and now more than a weblog, a network cum organization of people obsessed with technology and start-ups led by Michael Arrington are visualizing a Tablet PC that will cost $200 and run nothing more than just Firefox – people’s very own browser which just ended up making world record in number of downloads.
The ultra slim Tabloid PC device would totally be based on Open Source i.e. free technologies right from OS (BSD/Linux), Desktop/ OnScreen keywboard (Gnome, again open source) and Google Gears for widgets / plugins.
Techcrunch in its blog post says about its idea of the device:
The idea is to turn it on, bypass any desktop interface, and go directly to Firefox running in a modified Kiosk mode that effectively turns the browser into the operating system for the device. Add Gears for offline syncing of Google docs, email, etc., and Skype for communication and you have a machine that will be almost as useful as a desktop but cheaper and more portable than any laptop or tablet PC.
Though the concept is not very new and in words of one of a comments in TechcrunchIT its like reinventing the wheels. The famous $100 Laptop is in existence and the tablet PC with such idea of nothing more than a browser do already made their presence such as Cherrypal and is available for $249 in market and other similar one is from India called Simputer that too cost near about $200 (more info) but available in India only.
The TechCrunch Web Tablet project is convincing enough as when made, it would custom designed for bloggers, people obsessed with social networking, watching just videos on their PCs/laptops and putting other software/ hardware in their respective devices waiting for their chance to do some work for what these has been made for.
The TechcrunchIT web tablet project in other way can be taken as first of a kind where the efforts is to make a product by working in collaborative manner asking people to help in any means of their expertise (via a blog), ideas and then putting these inputs as base of product, taking shape in real world. The TechCrunch is asking people to be a part of project and once they are made part of this, they will get first prototype of this Web tablet device.
One can see whooping comments the blog has got in just single day and offering help in project, in form of developer, tester, PCB designer, some as electrical engineer and some as just consumers.