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Dell unveils true enterprise pocket PC

Rob Enderle | Jan. 14, 2013
Dell's 'Project Ophelia' is a Bluetooth-enabled device the size of a fob key that, when plugged into an HDMI input, runs Android apps from the cloud. Such a pocket PC (or cloud client') is innovative and disruptive--but the fact that Ophelia emerged from Wsye, which Dell acquired and refused to decimate, may be the bigger surprise.

This could be the future of PCs. Project Ophelia could be plugged into a tablet or laptop carrier, and it's designed to plug into a current generation HDMI monitor. It could very well replace tablets, laptops and desktop PCs as we know them.

Whether Dell (or someone else) will take that step is unknown. The irony is that the result would be a modular PC, which IBM tried to create in the late 1990s but never brought to market because of its financial difficulties. (Big Blue did bring Simon, the first smartphone, to market in this era, too, but that effort fell flat as well.)

With Project Ophelia, Dell Reinvents Pocket PC

Pocket PC, modular PC and thin client are all largely obsolete terms connected mentally to long-gone or failed initiatives. In many ways, though, this was because the market and technology just weren't ready.

Ophelia, far from being a thin client, is more of a "cloud client," representing thinking that blends a smartphone, new streaming servers such as the NVidia Grid and the power of cloud computing into something very different.

Dell may have announced something powerful and disruptive with Project Ophelia, but even more powerful and disruptive was the fact that the Wyse division that launched it has turned out more powerful than the bigger, more valuable Palm, thanks to Dell's approach to acquisition.


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