Information Week has published a UMPC Buyer’s Guide. Problem is Bill O’Brien, who wrote the article, needs a little more information. First, he falls prey to the astounding market confusion over UMPCs, MIDs, Netbooks, Subnotebooks, Mini-Tablets and the like. He actually tries to invent a new class of devices called ““Notebook UMPCs.Ã¢â‚¬Â That name, unfortunately, makes as much sense as anything else, and I guess no one can blame him. I have difficulty sorting that out myself. Second, he confuses some info on the difference between MIDs and UMPCs and that confusion runs through the article. As an example, when it comes to listing devices for the guide he lists TabletKiosk’s UMPCs, the v7110E and the TufTab v7112XT, in a very short list of MIDs. (Of course that list is short because we still haven’t seem much come to market in the MID line.) Third, as is the case with many, he gets caught up in the keyboard issue as a defining point. He overlooks completely the huge differences in chipsets, storage, and price points.
But Intel, Microsoft, and OEMs should take note of just how poorly they’ve been communicating their message in this murky arena when it comes to this statement:
Because the only real distinction right now seems to be that if they’re Windows-based you call them UMPCs, but they’re MIDs if they run Linux, they are doing an excellent job of muddying the water.
So are you, Bill. So are you.