Tadpole Jumps on Opteron Pad

A computer maker that specializes in Solaris-based systems is the first
Sun partner to develop AMD chips for its 64-bit notebooks.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Tadpole Monday said the new systems would be
for sale in the second quarter of 2004. The notebooks will come
pre-installed with Sun Microsystems’ Java Desktop System
(JDS) and will be able to run 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

Prices on the new units were not disclosed but Tadpole currently sells a SPARC-based notebook
family starting at $2,995. The company also sells a Pentium 4-based system
running a Linux operating system, the GNOME desktop and JDS.

“Tadpole Computer has taken the lead as Sun Microsystems’ first iForce
Partner to develop complimentary hardware solutions using the AMD Opteron
processor,” Mark Johnston, Tadpole CEO said in a statement. “By taking
advantage of the Sun-AMD alliance, we’re able to deliver the highest
performance notebook on the market for both 32- and 64-bit applications.”

The company said its 64-bit laptops act like mobile workstations and are
ideal for software development, scientific applications, design engineering,
MCAD, CAD/CAE and financial applications. Another benefit is
that IT managers will be able to use the notebook in the field
without changing their software base substantially, Tadpole said in a statement.

The notebooks also lend credence to Sun’s push towards the desktop as an
inexpensive alternative to Microsoft Windows and Office.
The Java Desktop System is a SUSE Linux-based platform that includes the
StarOffice 7 word processor/spreadsheet/presentation platform; the Mozilla open source
browser; Evolution e-mail client; RealNetworks’ RealONE player and
Macromedia Flash.

The Tadpole operating system also includes Looking Glass, a new
visualization interface that lets users surf around in interactive 3D-like
environments. One addition to the Desktop System is a management-wide tool.
Known as APOC, Sun said the technology preview lets IT pros and system
administrators to set up security and personal profiles for a wide bank of

Sun has had some success in usurping Microsoft’s dominance, such as
its landmark deal with the Chinese government and its five-year strategic agreement
with the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

“We are experiencing tremendous demand for the Tadpole notebooks bundled
with the Java Desktop System, offering a portable enterprise desktop
solution built on security, open source components and industry standards,”
Peder Ulander, Sun director of marketing said in a statement.

Tadpole, meantime, has secured its own contracts, most notably with the
U.S. Army. Under a partnership with General Dynamics, Tadpole is part of the
government’s $2 billion, ten-year Common Hardware/Software III (CHS-3)

Likewise, AMD has been making its own waves with its
64-bit Opteron and Athlon64 processors. Currently, Sun, IBM and HP have
professed support for the chips to augment their server lineups.

Tadpole said its AMD Opteron processor-based notebooks will be available
through its resellers and through Tadpole directly.

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