In this interview released today, Betanews spends some time with Otto Berkes, head of the Origami / UMPC team at Microsoft on “UMPC: Why Microsoft Thinks You Need It“. Here is a teaser from the full article:
“Microsoft believes consumers are looking for an uncompromised level of computing on the go. Thus, it began the process of developing what is now called the Ultra-Mobile PC back in 2002. Heading that team is Otto Berkes, the device’s architect and now general manager of the UMPC team. In an interview with BetaNews, Berkes says the impetus behind the creation of this new type of computing device has to do with several changes in the industry. Today’s desktops and laptops are not designed for true “on the go” use, he explained, but people are increasingly going mobile”.
How does he feel about some of the criticism of the UMPC?:
“Berkes also took issue with criticisms that the device is too big, or a rehash of prior form factors like the PepperPad and OQO, which have both failed to find a market. “Very few devices are actually appropriate for the pocket, he said, and the fact that the UMPC is a fully functional Windows PC with capabilities to connect to a multitude of devices just like a regular PC sets it apart from the crowd. Another difference from even Microsoft’s own failures — such as Windows Smart Displays — is the fact that it’s a PC at heart. “The family tree is still the PC. It will be able to feed off of the huge Windows ecosystem,” Berkes explained. Thus, he said, the product provides a huge amount of value over other devices”.