If you followed the news on GBM last week, I was posting a number of articles and videos from Mobile Connections, honing on Tablet PC and Ultra-Mobile PC features. After being home a couple of days, I’ve been able to take in the event and I’ve come away with a few impressions. You can find a list of all the articles and videos that I posted below.
The hands-on lab was the busiest section for Mobile Connections. This was in large part due to the display of UMPCs and Tablet PCs. Some of the biggest traffic actually came from another conference that was down the hall – The Aqua and Pool Industry. There were a number of folks coming by from the Aqua conference to look at the units, and by far the most popular were the Motion Computing LE1600 Tablet PC, the Samsung Q1 UMPC, and the Fujitsu P1610 Tablet PC. What was surprising to me were the number of folks who knew what the UMPC was and could immediately identify areas in their work flow where the UMPC could impact.
The hands-on lab was definitely busy, but I expected larger attendance at the Mobile Connections sessions themselves. With the breadth of classes offered at DevConnections, I can imagine the pull that many developers had, and it could be that concentrating on ink-enabling applications, UI considerations for UMPCs, etc didn’t rise up to the importance of getting more indepth with C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, etc. For myself, I attended several ASP.NET, Ajax, and Visual Basic classes. It is a shame that the classes were not well attended because the presenters and content were all really good, solid meat.
There is a clear move to position Tablet PCs and Ultra-Mobile PCs as Mobile PCs. All the signage, classes, shirts, hats, and other stuff were all geared toward Mobile PC. The distinct focus on Tablet PC appears to be waning, and we are in full steam with tablet as a feature.
In walking the expo booths, I talked to a number of component and software developers, and there still doesn’t seem to be an interest in develping components for enabling ink. The market potential, from the component developers perspective, is still pretty small. They are obviously not getting a lot of demand from developers for ink-enabled components.
My overall impression from Mobile Connections: developers will hone in on ink and mobile stuff as they are pressed to do so, and will figure stuff out on their own or from sample code available. From a developers perspective, it appears to be too narrow of a niche to hone in on development wise. This doesn’t appear to have changed much over the past several years. There is a great amount of excitement about new devices being announced during CES, and excitement will continue to be there as it relates to devices. Developers seemed excited about UMPCs for their own use, but I didn’t hear much from developers about designing applications to the UMPC. The best thing to happen to Mobile Connections, in my opinion, was being so close to the Aqua and Pool industry conference. It raised the awareness of Tablet PCs and UMPCs to a non-development / non-geek crowd, and that was a very good thing.
Articles and InkShows from the Mobile Connections conference