Wolfgang Gruener has a thought piece on TGDaily taking a hard look at the Ultra-Mobile PC in light of Intel’s recent moves. We’re likely to hear a lot about it, as it has already been Slashdotted. Unlike many who disparge the UMPC concept this article actually has a little meat on the bones. While his headline, The UMPC Dies And No One Notices, is an attention grabber, he quickly says that whether or not the platform is dead depends on your perspective. However, he notes that the idea as pitched in 2006 is now history.
This paragraph echoes somewhat my thoughts on that very closely:
There must have been a slight disconnect between Microsoft’s marketing strategists and hardware and product designers. Neither the first nor the second generation of UMPCs came close to the expectations the initial marketing created.
While much of the article focuses on Intel’s latest moves, this isn’t a rallying cry for the MID over the UMPC. He points out, correctly, that while the MID will have more connectivity options, enter the market with lower prices, and be a bit more mobile, they won’t be as fully powered or featured as the current UMPC. In fact he argues, again correctly in my view, that Intel is creating an entirely new product category.
The article goes into quite a bit of detail and is well worth a read and the point of view is well worth considering whether you agree with the author or not. If nothing else it points out just how interesting these times are in Ultra-Mobile PC land.