The iPod-Powered PC

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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With PowerHouse Technologies' Migo Personal for iPod software, you can use your iPod to turn any PC into your PC.

Would your customers believe that they could use their iPods to turn any PCs into working clones of their main PC? Well, believe it or not, that's exactly what PowerHouse Technologies Group Inc. is doing with its Migo software.

Migo Personal for iPod transforms Apple's popular music player into both a backup device and a setup device for remote PCs. With it, users can run their personalized computer settings on any PC. The Migo software stores Outlook e-mail, calendar and contacts; Internet Explorer favorites and browsing history; as well as data files, presentations and the like on the iPod's hard drive.

According to PowerHouse, simply plugging a Migo-equipped iPod into a Windows 98SE or newer powered PC instantly converts it into a virtual copy of the user's PC. The user's Outlook and data files, Internet favorites, browser history entries and cookies, and desktop wallpaper appear on the host computer as if it were their own.

It does not, however, copy applications, so if a user's primary computer has, say, Adobe Systems Inc.'s Acrobat, that application will not be available to the secondary computer if it is has not already been installed on it.

Migo Personal is based on a proven technology: the Migo USB drive. These USB (Universal Serial Bus) drives hold from 256MB to 1GB of a customer's settings. These use the USB 2.0 specification.

Both products' target market is SMBs (small to midsized businesses). In particular, the company sees its Migo-powered iPod mobile workers who share machines with others or access data in public places using their iPod for work as well as for listening to Wilco. The device is also aimed at users who don't have their own dedicated machines, such as IT shift workers.

Either way, the Migo is very Microsoft-centric. For example, you can use it with Outlook 2000 or later e-mail, but not with Lotus Notes or Mozilla Thunderbird.

PowerHouse is interested in selling both its iPod software and its USB drives through the channel. Its partner program provides training, sales and marketing support to help its reseller, solution provider, ISV and VAR partners succeed in selling the company's flagship Migo product line and software solutions.

Click here to read about Apple's new iPod Photo.

The program comes with two levels: affiliate and premier partners. An affiliate partner provides basic sales and the first level of technical support. An affiliate partner is required to complete a partner agreement and receives online training, access to online marketing tools, inside telephone support and standard technical support.

Premier partners are encouraged to look not just to SMBs but to enterprise clients as well. To achieve this level, the company must complete a partner agreement and also must maintain technical support as well as outside sales personnel on staff who are trained and certified on Migo applications.

In return, premier partner benefits include a listing as a certified dealer on the 4Migo.com Web site, online support and marketing tools, inside telephone sales support, priority technical support, outside account management, bid-desk support, sales lead programs, and a sales-volume-based quarterly incentive program.

Migo Personal for iPod will begin shipping in November through PowerHouse Technologies' channel partners. The software is expected to retail for an estimated price of $99.95 with an introductory $30 rebate offer.

Check out eWEEK.com's Desktop & Notebook Center at http://desktop.eweek.com for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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