System integrator Remora Technologies -- in conjunction with distributor Alstom IT -- has started shipping Linux and Sun Solaris-based laptops to the local market following an agreement with US-based manufacturer Tadpole Computers.
Robert Silver, CEO at Remora, believed the company was one of the first resellers to aggressively push the laptops to the Australian market.
They are being distributed through Alstom IT. He claimed it was the first time a SPARC-based laptop was being "fully supported" here.
"SPARC does have a significant opportunity. We'll partner with people who are developers or [companies] selling SPARC-based server solutions," he said.
The profit margin potential for these machines was higher than laptops running Microsoft operating systems, he said. "I guess because it's a niche product and there are a limited number of resellers selling them.
"There is a window of opportunity there [and] there isn't a big market for Solaris notebooks," he said.
The Tadpole TALIN line of SuSE Linux-based notebooks run Sun Java Desktop System on a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 chip. They also come pre-installed with Star Office from Sun, Ximiam Evolution and Mozilla. Prices start at $2470 (inc.GST).
The SPARCLE range are SPARC-based laptops that can be used to demonstrate, develop and run Solaris applications or as a portable SPARC-based server. Prices start from $6,189 (inc.GST).
Target markets for these laptops would include defence organisations, hospitals and "any organisation that's got SPARC-based infrastructure," he said.
"Probably the largest group of users of SPARCLE notebooks will be engineers and sales people who develop or sell Solaris solutions. Solaris programs are generally complex and a sales person or engineer can't easily install software on a customer's system to demonstrate their product.
"The SPARCLE, as a portable server, enables live demonstrations of software products making a presentation a lot more compelling than a series of PowerPoint slides describing how a program runs," Silver said.
Other products manufactured by Tadpole include VIPER, a high-end Unix workstation and COMET, which is compatible with the Sun Ray ultra-thin client from Sun Microsystems.
The company also planned to launch its first notebooks based on AMD's Opteron chip by the end of June.