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So, what is an Ultra Mobile PC?



Microsoft has released the following guidelines as to what makes up the baseline specs for being called an Ultra Mobile PC:

  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 OS
  • Approximately 7” diagonal display (or smaller)
  • Minimum 800 x 480 resolution
  • Approximately 2 pounds
  • Integrated touch panel
  • WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled

    According to the specs, Motion Computing’s  LS800 does not get that ““official” designation. : no touch; 8”. Nor does the OQO, because it doesn’t support touch. The Fujitsu P1510D doesn’t either due to size: 8.9”. Which makes me wonder: why didn’t Motion or OQO or Fujitsu choose to enter into this opportunity? They were soooo close. My guess is that they want to take a ““wait and see” approach. If you notice there are 3 currently announced OEMs (more to come later), but I think think that many OEMs are taking that ““wait and see” approach. I think that ““wait and see” approach is going to hurt them, though.

    I personally think that the consumer is poised to benefit from this new movement. It has to drive down prices, otherwise, I think Motion and OQO are going to feel the pinch. Prices are going to have to fall drastically. Granted many people will want a more ““enterprise” level computer like the LS800 and OQO with built-in TPM security and active digitizer, but I believe the consumer will jump to the other Ultra Mobile PCs and try them out first. Many of them won’t trade up after experimenting with the lower cost alternatives.

    To be honest, I still consider the LS800 and OQO and P1510D to be an ultra mobile pc, even though they don’t officially don’t meet those specs That said, I think they missed a good opportunity.

    So what does Motion and OQO and Fujitsu need to do:

    • lower entry level pricing
    • capitalize on the weaknesses of what is currently missing from the Samsung, Founder, and Asus models — no 3g wireless

    What about touch and size? I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Bring the pricing down to a reasonable level and make it attractive for the business user to want to ““move up”. The current price differential will make that a difficult proposition for the those in the consumer market. Keep using the term ultra mobile pc in your marketing literature — the term is so vague that I really don’t think it matters too much.  I think had Microsoft chosen to keep the brand ““Origami” then it would have mattered.

    These are interesting times for the mobile community. We have definitely entered a new era in computing.

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