A compendium of original and borrowed content regarding Tablet PCs and fun Technologies

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

RIP UMPC - But is the 7" Touch Screen Tablet PC really dead?

Over the past week, I've seen a few posts that reference the demise of the UMPC in 2008. However, I think that the funeral they are referring to is for the UMPC as a consumer, mobile computer device which Microsoft originally touted in 2006, and not necessarily the 7" touch screen Tablet PC form factor.

Remember this?

Ultra-Mobile PCs are a new class of computer that is optimized for mobility. With a screen size of 7 inches or less, Ultra-Mobile PCs can be slipped into a purse or a small bag for ultimate portability. A touch-screen, a tablet pen, and a D-pad give you a variety of input options while you are on the move. Built-in Bluetooth gives you the option of staying connected wherever you go.

Stay in touch with the people and the information that are important to you, get things done quickly and easily, and have more fun on the go. With an ultra-mobile PC, you can experience your world from virtually any location—at the touch of a finger.

In 2006, TabletKiosk embraced the UMPC platform for its touch screen, small form factor and ability to run a full Windows OS, which made a complimentary extension to our line of Sahara Slate PC line of touch screen tablets. At the time, and to Microsoft's dismay, we chose to market the eo (our brand name) to the enterprise community, instead of the end consumer; and have since developed our 7" device as a specialized niche mobile computer in the hospitality, medical, home automation and control systems markets.


Every month, our eo sales continue to grow as more of our customers find the benefits of using a mobile, 7" touch screen computer, and at CES 2009 we will be showing our latest line extensions which we have developed in response to customer requests.

Our customers are attracted to the eo line because of its 7" touch screen which can run the full Windows OS. This is key because they are running or accessing full X86 applications and cannot use Windows Mobile, CE, or any other condensed program to run their software. The 7" screen can output to 1024x768 resolution without sacrificing viewability.

In our experience, these customers never utilized any of the consumer-friendly "Origami Experience" applications , which were designed by Microsoft to increase productivity, because these programs were simply not developed for business usage.

So to those that are nailing the coffin closed, playing taps or sitting "shivah" for the UMPC form factor, consider if you really saying goodbye to the UMPC as Microsoft's promise of the do-everything, inexpensive, mobile computer (the one being handily replaced by the netbook and mobile phone). From my perspective, the 7" touch screen tablet has a very bright future and isn't going away anytime soon!

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1 comment:

DaveTN said...

I really like the UMPC formfactor and have enjoyed my Q1 Ultra for almost a year. However, it is a supplement, or a liasion between my primary PC and my Tablet PC.
I particularly like it for its small size and use it for checking my email, quick surfing and viewing powerpoint presentations and notes for my classes. I do use it quite a bit but it is not a replacement for either of my main devices.
A few things will have to happen before UMPC's become more popular. 1. Advertising - I don't see any other than the free advertising I give when someone asks me about my UMPC..and most like it. I've even "sold" a few. 2. Price - They are way too expensive for the mainstream and are being surpassed by netbooks because netbooks are less expensive. C'mon...how much more does a digitizer *really* cost? 3. Performance - Out of the box, my Q1 was a slug. I had to add more memory and search the internet for ways to squeeze more performance out of it...which I did and I'm happy with it. But,not everyone who purchases one will be inclined to do that and will not be happy.
So, reduce the price, increase teh performance and advertise and the market may look a little brighter. Hey, even the "PC" guy in the PC - Mac commercials would look cool with a UMPC.. Somethin like "hey, can your Mac do this?"

David