Ultra-portable computers like the OQO and Sony U-70 are beginning to bridge the gap between laptop and PDA due to the small form factor. It is becoming easy to carry your entire computer with you almost everywhere you go. One of the obstacles that prevents some UPC owners from leaving the PDA at home is the need to have quick access to the PIM data on the computer. Even though these first UPCs have gone quite a ways towards minimizing the time needed to turn on the computer and check a phone number, there are still some improvements that could be made in this area.
Phoenix is a company that has been making BIOS for computers for a long time and they know a thing or two about the boot process. If anybody can figure out a way to let the user work with their PIM information without actually booting up the computer they would be the ones to do it. Phoenix has recently announced a product that tackles that issue, the Phoenix FirstWare Assistant 2004. FirstWare Assistant will be added by the computer OEM and is a program that lets you fully interact with your Outlook data while the computer is still booting. This is perfect for the UPCs I’ve mentioned but will also be a great boon for Tablet PC users. Read on to see the full feature list.
UPDATE: System Requirements (this leaves out the OQO)
- Pentium 4 or Pentium M class mobile PCs
- Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP operating system
- Microsoft Outlook 2002/XP/2003
(via PocketPC Thoughts)