updated 04:15 pm EDT, Mon July 21, 2008
CherryPal intros cloud PC
CherryPal on Monday announced it will soon begin shipping its cloud PC, the CherryPal Desktop. The paperback-book sized box has just 256MB of DDR2 memory and a 4GB flash drive, and runs on Freescale's MPC5121e mobileGT processor, good for 400MHz. Included in the purchase price of the CherryPal is 50GB of Internet storage, all managed and protected by CherryPal staff. Accessing the web is via the PC's Ethernet jack or 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
With a 20-second boot-up time, the CherryPal is a budget-priced, maintenance-free PC. CherryPal's online administrators perform all system maintenance for users, with automatic backups that ensure no files are lost. The operating system is an embedded form of Debian Linux, though CherryPal programmers never let users see it, instead creating an exclusive interface via a Firefox browser window. This was done because Linux has a reputation for being hard to use, Linux execs say, which is the main reason the cloud PC's target audience is students aged 14 to 25.
Web-based applications include iTunes and OpenOffice as well as a CherryPal-branded instant messenger and media client.
Because of its lack of high-spec components, the CherryPal desktop PC only uses 2 watts of power, the company claims. A VGA output allows a monitor to be hooked up, with other inputs comprised of a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack output.
The CherryPal is now available for purchase from CherryPal's webstore, and will ship by the end of July. It will also come to Amazon.com in September, priced at $249.