Just in time for Computex, VIA Technologies has announced the OpenBook, which is a new Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) they are offering to compete with Intel's Menlow UMPCs. Making the VIA OpenBook "open" is making the CAD files to the external panels on this notebook's reference design available under the Creative Commons license (so that distributors or end-users may easily customize this sub-notebook) and the OpenBook will ship with an unspecified selection of Linux distributions (gOS is likely one of them)...
So I can see what Via is doing, but I'm not sure how it's going to work in the end: since they can't compete with the marketing budgets of the big boys, they're attempting to leverage the open source community - they're being "different" to stand out.
Releasing materials under CC license, etc., in hopes that someone else will take it and run with it, make a funny youtube parody video, something like that to generate buzz.
It *could* work, if they don't try to force it.
In the past when companies have tried to do something similar (case in point, Sony with the PSP blog thing), they've always been the ones behind the (seemingly unbiased) blog or website talking about the product - and it backfires.
Well I like VIA very much. They have a long experience in the Low Power but still good performance market. I just hope they get their new 64bit processor out soon. I would really like to buy a Via Openbook with the 64Bit processor and a harddrive.
If they'll try to do MORE than just their IGPs as open info like AMD has done, they might just make this all work. The CPU's a bit underpowered (The new one's in the same general class as the ones being fielded in the eeePC right now) and the Isiah chips have potential overall. What's tripping them up right now is that the stuff they're fielding is sub-par overall with inadequate support for any OS to speak of (Their Windows support doesn't count as adequate either... ).
Fix that with proper Open Source support along with the stuff they've got in the mill and they can still be in the running at the least. Anything else will just get them left by the wayside.