Personal Tech Pipeline | Good Microsoft 'Origami' Ultra-Mobile PC Two Years Away - Gartner

White Papers

Sponsor Resources

Free Newsletter GlossaryContact UsAbout Us
Players & CamsPhones & PDAsHome & AutoOnline

March 16, 2006

Good Microsoft 'Origami' Ultra-Mobile PC Two Years Away - Gartner

Courtesy of TechWeb News

Microsoft Corp.'s much ballyhooed ultra-mobile PC is more promise than real, as the technology needed to deliver the device envisioned by the software giant is at least two years away, a research firm said.

In a recent analysis, Gartner Inc. said the device scheduled to ship in the second quarter is more of a "tweener" gadget that's too big to be a personal digital assistant, or PDA, and too small to be a useful notebook.

For future models of the UMPC to match Microsoft's hype of a "lifestyle computer," a new category of device, a number of factors need to fall into place, some of which is not technologically possible today.

For one, the 2-pound computer with a 7-inch touch screen will need an eight-hour battery and a sub-$400 price, both of which are at least two years away, Gartner said. Current pricing is in the $799-to-$999 range.

In addition, low-cost, compelling software bundles, which Microsoft and Intel Corp. say they're working on, will be needed to help launch the device in the mainstream, which Gartner defines as unit sales in the millions, rather than the thousands.

Other needed features include a better interface running on Windows Vista, text-entry options beyond thumb-typing and sustained market momentum by Microsoft and Intel, Gartner said.

"Today, we believe it isn't possible to produce compelling UMPC products -- just proofs of concept," Gartner said. "The low battery life, high price and non-Vista operating system will likely hurt the UMPC's market acceptance in this first go-round, and the negative backlash could damage its future chances."

Because the device isn't ready to fulfill the promise, Gartner questioned the timing of the launch, and said it was likely mainstream acceptance wouldn't occur until after 2009.

Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., and Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., unveiled the device March 9, saying that the first version would run Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. The touch-screen feature would run on Microsoft Touch Pack software, code-named Origami. The lineup of manufacturers included Founder, Samsung, Asus, TabletKiosk and PaceBlade Japan, Gartner said.

The device is being marketed as a "lifestyle computer" that can store all of a person's digital content, such as photos, videos and MP3 music files, while also providing the interface for anytime access to email. The latter would require a wireless wide-area network card, which isn't currently available, Gartner said.

E-mail This Story
Print This Story
Reprint This Story

Get the latest Personal Tech news, product info, and trends every week.

Related Content

  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Main RSS Feed
  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Blog RSS Feed

Keeping Up To Date On Enterprise Server Tech?
Review our compilation of columns on server security, database software, and Linux issues.
Unleash the Power & Opportunity of Grid Computing
Experts will identify trends in grid computing, provide
examples and examine solution options.
Using Current Performance to Shape
Future Results

Hear new strategies for improving business
performance and results.

Editor's Picks

Well, Microsoft has "unfolded" its "Origami" ultra-mobile PC platform Thursday. It turned out to be a full-featured PC smaller than a tablet but bigger than a PDA. Are you impressed?
Yes! I want one!
Sort of. We'll see.
No! It's too big for a pocket and too small for real computing. What's the point?

In search of personal tech products? See our new Product Finder, where you'll find personal computing devices, communications solutions, security products, and more.

On the CIO Agenda with IBM
With business growth back on the agenda, the role of the CIO is changing from manager of technology to C-suite collaborator in enabling innovation that matters for the business. Read an executive summary and register to download the full IBM paper.

Symantec Backup Solutions
Desktop to Data Center Protection. Explore the Official Symantec Site.

EMC SAN helps El Camino deliver superior service
EMC CLARiiON and Centera systems are helping El Camino Hospital provide better patient care. The hospital can quickly and effortlessly monitor, modify, and protect the availability of its entire storage environment while saving money ($150,000)

SEC & HIPAA IM Compliance
Satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements for instant messaging.

Secure & Easy Console Management with Digi CM
The Digi CM console server provides secure, intelligent & easy access to network devices with a serial console port. With Digi CM, you can securely monitor & control servers, routers, switches & other devices even when your network is down.

Buy a Link Now

Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia
Stellent eSeminar "Approaches to Metadata Design" on March 23
CSC Worldwide IT consulting, systems integration, outsourcing
Top Requested White Paper Categories from TechWeb White paper Library
Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia