Microsoft has formally unveiled the product code-named Origami, it is the Ultra-Mobile PC. With its 7" touch screen display and full fledged Windows XP Tablet Edition operating system, it brings mobility without sacrificing power, it brings flexibility without adding bulk, and the most important point, it brings all of the above at a price below $1000. The platform definitely has plenty of scope for improvements, like thickness, weight, battery life and cost, but it defines a very important category in the mobile arena. This category excites me.
I love the Smartphone form factor and find the Pocket PC Phone Edition platform a little bulky for my pocket. And to complicate the matters further, the Smartphone with its small screen and lack of touch screen does make me think about owning a Pocket PC Phone Edition device. By the same token, I don't like the idea of carrying my laptop on my vacations and road trips. There are times when the Smartphones and Pocket PCs just donít work well and the laptops are overkill. However, the power and flexibility offered by the Windows XP based laptops cannot be matched by Windows Mobile 5.0 based devices. The UMPC sounds like the answer to my dilema. The UMPC sounds like the ideal mobile partner for my Smartphone and I totally agree with Janak Parekh's comments over at Pocket PC Thoughts - "Instead of having a dumb cell phone and a Pocket PC, why not have a Pocket PC Phone or Smartphone (for phone, PIM, lightweight email, etc.) and a UMPC?"
The UMPC is not only going to be a perfect mobile entertainment device but from a mobile enterprise user perspective, I can see that the Windows XP operating system in the UMPC devices will enable for the developers a new medium for rich enterprise applications. Something that the Pocket PC and Smartphone form factors and Windows Mobile 5.0 cannot offer. The dual connectivity options, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on the UMPC make perfect sense. Thanks to Bluetooth, the UMPC can connect seamlessly to the Internet using the Smartphone as the modem; this means that I don't have to pay the cellular company any extra charge every month for an additional wireless data service. Wi-Fi on the UMPC, to me, makes more sense than on my Smartphone; I can make better use of the faster speed on the UMPC than on my Smartphone.
The only thing holding me back for now is the price and the battery life, I would like to see a price closer to $700 and battery life closer to 6 hours. And one more thing that should be standard on this ultra portable is the GPS sensor. In short, I support the UMPC platform and would like to hear your thoughts.