Redfly: No, It’s Not V.D., It Just Sounds Like It

Some people are all a-swoon over something that’s even dumber — literally — than the stillborn Palm Foleo:

Why the REDFLY will succeed where the Foleo failed

The approach has a number of problems: Using a custom version of Linux conveys strong security concerns, your data is stored both on the phone and on the Foleo. This means if the Foleo is stolen, who knows how secure is your email? Using a foleo would violate most advanced companies security policies. Would email be encrypted on the Foleo? Furthermore, the Foleo only worked with Treos. To top the list, it would only run email, an Office document viewer and maybe a few custom apps – a different set of software than what is running on your Treo.

That’s why the REDFLY is a clever approach: think about it as a large external screen, a large external keyboard and a USB hub for your Windows mobile phone. You will see the same stuff on your phone screen as on the REDFLY, the typing goes directly to your phone, and if you plug a standard USB mouse into the USB hub you can use it to control your Windows Mobile phone. It is a dumb terminal – there is no memory or applications on the device. Your data never leaves your phone. You can use all the same apps: from Solitaire to your company’s Mobile CRM application with no changes. Pretty sweet.

And what if your phone is lost or stolen? Then you’re left with something that has less use than a standalone Foleo.

Palm was scourged for trying to pass off an underpowered PDA in a subnotebook’s costume. This … thing … is a package of nothing. For five hundred dollars.

Verdict: FAIL!

But it’ll sell very well at the $99 price it’ll have via inventory liquidators this December…

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