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Linux behind new corporate-focused smart phone

Feb 25, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Motorola slides out Linux-based flip-top cell phone

What makes a cell phone smart? In Motorola’s case, it’s Linux.

The mobile handset giant recently introduced its A768 model – a Linux-based phone that talks the talk, sends the e-mail, and also reads the text documents, spreadsheets and presentation slides.

The A768 is a flip-phone based on MontaVista Linux, which has become one of the most widely used embedded Linux distributions for cell phones and handheld devices. The phone supports GSM, General Packet Radio Service and circuit switched data modes, and includes a 240 x 320 resolution TFT touch-screen interface.

In addition to voice, the phone can also be used to send e-mail, with support for POP3, SMTP and IMAP4 mail protocols. Short Messaging System text messages, as well as MMS, or photo messaging, communications are also supported. The phone makes it possible to download and read document files, such as Adobe PDF files, as well as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. (No, not StarOffice, alas). It can also play MP3s. And there is also 58M bytes of storage space for storing all those files. USB, infrared, and Bluetooth connectivity is also available for large file transfers.

The A768 also includes a scaled-down Web browser that supports WAP 2.0, WML, xHTML, HTML protocols. There’s also an integrated personal information management application, for storing contact numbers and e-mails.

The gadget can be used as a secure network access client device. An embedded Secure Sockets Layer-based VPN client in the Linux software stack allows users to access a corporate network and resources behind a firewall, such as e-mail servers, applications, or a corporate intranet.