D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Analysts miss key Origami market

Sunday, March 12, 2006 8:09 PM

If you believe the analysts in this article, Microsoft's new Ultra Mobile PC isn't going to live up to its hype. It has nowhere near the battery life of the IPod, its (as Pip Coburn states) “another failed attempt to jam everything into one device.”, and (according to Cynthia Brumfield) its too expensive for consumers. What I find interesting about this article is that they keep refering it as a mobile media device aimed at consumers...an in that capacity, I agree with them. I would never buy an UMPC to replace my IPod. I would never buy it to play games, and I would never buy it to watch movies (although, I'm not saying that functionality to do that is bad). Is that Microsoft's fault? Are the marketing the device as a portable MEDIA device? If they are, then I can see where these analyst's comments come from. But there's another segment that can benefit from these new devices.

Having worked on both a tablet pc application and numerious PPC applications, I can tell you that neither truly solves the requirement of easy accessibility to data. PPC's have a great form factor, but the screen is much too small to enter in a 100 line item order for a customer. Throw in processor speed, smaller memory sizes, and battery life, and you realize some of the limitations of the PPC platform.

Ah, but then there are the tablet PC's. However, unless you buy one of the ultra-slim models or a slate, using them anywhere other than a desk environment is futile. Imagine a salesperson walking with their customer trying to bring up information on an item while holding a 5 - 7 lb tablet in one hand. Plus, for many people, they'd rather have the comfort of a desktop computer or a dedicated laptop with a larger screen than a tablet.

Enter the UMPC. Now there's a platform with a lower price point than a laptop with better screen realestate and processing/memory power than a PPC! As a developer, this device is exciting to me because it actually removes some of the hurdles to solution development that hardware presents. This device could easily be used in numerous business settings, and that's where the UMPC is going to shine...not necessarily in the consumer space.



# re: Analysts miss key Origami market

I was thinking the same thing. The problem is, they turned on an apple-style hype machine, causing people to expect something that might change their lives. The thing with MS, though, is that they never release the product they are hyping, they gotta depend on Samsung to wow-factor to UMPC. If they would have hyped it as ground-breaking, business changing mobile pc, then I might bite. But for something released at a Consumer Products Expo, I consider it a flop for the consumer. It should last at least 8 hours on it's batteries, and cost under $500 for me to even consider starting to save up for it. 3/13/2006 9:25 AM | Jer

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