Avaya wraps up collaboration in tidy package -- but don't call it a tablet

Nor is it an iPad rival; instead, the Flare Experience bundles telepresence, email, text, and more into a desktop device

"Tablet" has become such a buzzword that any mobile computing device larger than a smartphone and lacking a physical keyboard is promptly slapped with the moniker and billed an iPad rival. Thus, the confusion around Avaya's newly announced Flare Experience is understandable, and Avaya's description doesn't help much either: "The industry's first, next-generation user experience that delivers unique collaboration capabilities across video, voice and text." (Is "experience" the new word for "solution"?)

Basically, Avaya has announced new hardware and software geared toward unified communications, especially telepresence and videoconferencing. The most tabletlike component of the Experience is the Avaya Desktop Video Device, which features an 11.6-inch HD touchscreen with video and audio capabilities, a 720-pixel HD camera, and built-in dual microphones. It includes an unspecified number of USB ports, and it supports SIP and Wi-Fi.

[ Also on InfoWorld.com: Dell Inspiron Duo boasts innovative hybrid design -- but little else | Get the scoop on the Flare Experience and more in the IDG interview with Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

But Avaya isn't pushing the device as a tablet -- and rightly so. Note the word "desktop" in its name, for starters. Also, touting the device as a tablet wouldn't be prudent, given that Google itself has said the Android OS is not designed for the tablet form factor, as Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google, told TechRadar earlier this month:

Froyo is not optimised for use on tablets. If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor. We want to make sure that we're going to create an application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience.

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