Print 19 comment(s) - last by dev0lution.. on Mar 10 at 10:22 PM

Devices will range from $599 to $999

Microsoft has officially announced its "Origami" project today. Microsoft has had been teasing us for the past few weeks, but the real goods start leaking out early this week.

The new Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) feature 7" screens, weigh less than two pounds, get around three hours of use on a charge and run on variant of Windows XP TabletPC Edition. Models from Asus, Founder and Samsung are due to hit the market within the next few months.

"We believe that (ultra-mobile PCs) will eventually become as indispensable and ubiquitous as the mobile phone today," said Microsoft VP Bill Mitchell.

Well, Microsoft and its partners have their work cut out for them. Microsoft also had high hopes for TabletPCs, but that endeavor has showed little promise. And with a price tag of between $599 to $999, only the true gadget geeks will go for these at first.

That being said, here's a little of what Mitchell has to say about the UMPC in comparison to other mobile platforms:

PressPass: How does a UMPC differ from other notebook PCs and other mobile computers currently on the market?

Mitchell: A UMPC is smaller, lighter and far more portable than most other fully-functional PCs. UMPCs are also the first to feature our Windows Touch Pack software that optimizes the touch screen user interface for smaller form factors to simplify navigation and ease-of-use while on the go It can be used in a hand-held mode of operation rather than on a desk top, and can be used in places and situations where notebook PCs can’t. It also has a more flexible set of interaction and input methods, including a touch screen, stylus and hardware controls. A UMPC can easily be synchronized with a non-mobile, larger, primary PC at home or work, making it easy to take music, movies, photos, and Office documents on the go. The UMPC is also different from other small Windows XP-based PCs like the OQO and the Fujitsu LifeBook P1500D, which are designed for enterprise environments.

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whats the difference
By latrosicarius on 3/9/2006 11:41:14 AM , Rating: 2
What's the difference between this and a palm pilot again?

And, BTW, it's not goint to be a "ubiquitus and indespensible" as a cell phone b/c nobody is going to want to carry around something big like that 24/7 that they can't put in their pocket or on their belt.

Also, I'm assuming it has some built-in VoIP software / hardware for phone-like communication (probably over WIMAX), otherwise it's definitly not going to catch on.

RE: whats the difference
By ItsOnlyMonday on 3/9/2006 12:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.. The newer palms and ppcs has battery life upwards to 7-10 hours (without BT/WiFi on), has integrated wifi, can play music and watch videos, has native ms office editing, and can fit in your pocket.

RE: whats the difference
By Rock Hydra on 3/9/2006 12:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
I would get one because it's actaully running windows XP. I don't know about nowadays, but my friend's dell was very limited at viewing pages and things like that. I'm kinda looking forward to not having to run special types of software. I hope they dont decide to use ActiveSync or whichever syncing app is used with PPCs.

RE: whats the difference
By Rock Hydra on 3/9/2006 12:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I left out a word. I meant Dell Axim.

RE: whats the difference
By latrosicarius on 3/9/2006 1:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
A replacement for laptops? maybe.
A replacement for cell phones/blackburrys/palm pilots? no.

Origami Project....or Newton in disguise?
By gentryfunk on 3/9/2006 11:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
Damn thing looks almost exactly like and Apple Newton from 1996! Wow!

By ET on 3/9/2006 5:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it's a hint that it should be used with Open Office. :D

By Runiteshark on 3/9/2006 7:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! That was a precursor to the modern PDA.

By Razta on 3/9/2006 10:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
Can I play Quake on it?

RE: Games
By Xenoterranos on 3/9/2006 10:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
Quake yes, Quake 4...not at any playable framerate.

By Visual on 3/9/2006 11:02:44 AM , Rating: 2
if that has a x86 cpu and atleast 320x240 display, i'd be happy to trade in my 486 for it!

RE: x86?
By Visual on 3/9/2006 11:14:01 AM , Rating: 2
Woot! Intel Celeron M, Intel Pentium M or VIA C7-M
So x86 indeed. I seriously wonder if I can run all the old DOS games from my 486 on it now. Let's hope the screen is good enough and the video is VBE compatible. Controls could be an issue though... isn't it high time they put those laser projectable keyboards on some such device?

size does matter
By lucyfek on 3/9/2006 3:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
wan't fit into pocket
if i had to carry it in the backpack, i'd rather carry a laptop
no cover for screen spells troubles

RE: size does matter
By latrosicarius on 3/9/2006 5:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
Plus it looks like it's fatter than a laptop with much less screen area.

And that's good for???
By ET on 3/9/2006 5:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Fujitsu P1510D. I love the small form factor. But the device shown was slightly heavier, lacking keyboard, and with a little worse battery life (compared to the basic P1510D battery). Yes it's also supposed to be cheaper, but I really don't see the appeal.

No keyboard means to me it's not a real computer. But it's too bulky for a PDA. It's also not all that cheap for a web pad. The Nokia 770 is lighter and cheaper, and I find it more appealing.

nothing special.
By Mitul89 on 3/9/2006 5:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
wow the batter sux! They need to stop making up this portable stuff and start thinking how to improve/make better battery life. 3hours isnt alot..

By Enoch2001 on 3/9/2006 10:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'll stick to my Nokia 770 - much less expensive and most of functionality (minus Halo)...

PSP Pwner?
By dev0lution on 3/10/2006 10:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
If it can use remote desktop connection via wiFi to my desktop (with ease) I'd consider it. Certainly would be better than a PSP for the media/apps functionality.

pci express
By PrimarchLion on 3/9/2006 2:08:09 PM , Rating: 1
how many pci express lanes does it have? not worth it if it has less than 16

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