Dell plans to reinvent itself with ‘Project Ophelia’, a flash drive-sized PC that runs both Windows and Mac OS X


Dell recently made the news due to its plans of going private, but it’s been awhile since Dell was mentioned because they were doing something that we could be excited about. Looks like that’s changing now with reports of a Project Ophelia going around. But what is Ophelia and why should you even be excited about it? According to Christopher Mims of Quartz, it’s a PC that will give you access to every major OS including Windows, Mac OS X, Google’s Chrome OS, and Dell’s custom cloud solutions — oh, and it’s the size of a USB stick.

The reason all this is possible in such a small size is because Ophelia wouldn’t be a PC in the traditional sense. While it would allow you to access all those operating systems, it would do so through virtual instances running in the cloud. It means all you’d need is a screen and an internet connection. Pull out Ophelia from your shirt pocket, plug it into your screen and voila, a fully featured computer with the OS of your choice. As always, price is always a concern. But for this bold new direction, Dell wants to make it really accessible. Like, $50 kind of accessible. If they hit that price while providing all the functionality talked about, this could be a game-changer.

There are still a lot of questions you could ask about Ophelia. Would Microsoft, Apple, or Google allow their operating systems to even be part of it? I don’t think Microsoft or Google would have much of an issue but I could see Apple shooting down the idea of OS X on something that isn’t a Mac. Would running your entire operating system from the cloud result in a good user experience? It all depends on the technology we have available. And the further into the future we go, Dell’s reinvention — and Project Ophelia — come closer to becoming reality.

[via Quartz, BGR]

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  • Ashraf

    Other reports say this will be an Android-powered machine with no mention of other OSes. Freakin’ rumors.

  • J.L.

    Sure sounds exciting enough, but I wonder how they will keep down costs.

    Cloud experience isn’t much of an issue these days.

  • Mike

    Another solution looking for a problem, and not in sync with the reality of today’s technology and clouds. Why not just make exciting and better machines, Dell? It seems to work for Apple . . . .

  • Col. Panek

    Plenty of these (RaspberryPi on a stick), but Dell’s is the only one to run Windows. Wait, is Windows included in the $50 price?

  • AFPhys

    Interesting concept, and product might be useful for many people traveling away from the office. Even if it functioned like “GoToMyPC”, and gave access to your own computer, that would be useful for some.

    I’m still firmly in liking my laptop/netbook, though.

  • Morgan

    The comments here must be from Apple babies. I assumed that like they assume the product is on the market right now. I also assume they purchase the newest cell phone every time its on the market. Good idea Dell, this will end the current cell phone frenzy unless the phones can match a PC or Mac.

  • Mags

    IMHO I wouldn’t touch anything Dell with a 10 foot pole.

    Dell is crap, enough said!

  • Kelltic

    To answer your question, “Would running your entire operating system from the cloud result in a good user experience?”


  • lancer

    Wasn’t Ophelia Knee, Dicky Knee’s girlfriend?:)

  • corno

    Sorry to say, but what a stupid name! The guy who suggested the name clearly did not know his classics, Ophelia is the girl who drowned herself when she did not get what she hoped for.

  • mukhi

    i am afraid apple will beg to differ and the project may not a be a solution unless you have a really fast internet everywhere.