As presaged last week, Intel and Microsoft seem to be having separate kickoffs for their new mobile PC design. Intel lead off the dance yesterday at the Intel Developers Forum with their release of details on what they call the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) and Microsoft will introduce their version called Origami on Thursday at CeBIT. Ina Fried at ZDNet reports on Intel:
In a preview of Tuesday afternoon’s demonstration, Brad Graff, Intel’s marketing director, showed CNET News.com several of the Ultra Mobile PC devices, including an example of the kind of hardware that will ship in the next few weeks as part of the Microsoft effort.
As earlier reported, the first devices have a 7-inch touch screen, standard x86 processors, and can run full versions of desktop operating systems including the Windows XP variant being used for Origami.
In later generations, probably next year or later, the devices could have the pocket size, all-day battery life, and $500 price that Microsoft and Intel are aiming for, Graff said in an interview.
The first generation of devices are likely to get about three hours of battery life, he said.
In addition to the 7-inch model, Graff showed several other prototype devices of what the chipmaker hopes will be possible in future versions, including models with smaller screens and a swivel-out keyboard. Although the prototypes are working, because they use today’s standard components, they get only about 15 minutes of battery life.
Intel’s hardware, which uses its ultra low-voltage chips, can run standard x86 operating systems, including Windows and Linux. Microsoft plans on Thursday to finally detail its Origami effort, which runs only on Windows XP.
Intel just said the “L” word! There are more photos of the Intel prototypes here and at the overloaded Intel Ultra Mobile PC web site. Microsoft’s Robert Scoble points to a CNBC video of the prototypes. I’m pleased to see that the keyboard isn’t a completely unknown concept.
Reactions to the Intel revelations has so far been less than favorable (e.g. Blogger’s Origami dreams crumpled) and rumors abound about what Microsoft will actually reveal in their kickoff at CeBIT (e.g. Origami Just a Glorified Media Player with Nasty DRM?). I’m still puzzled about why the Microsoft operating system of choice is Windows XP, although several sources refer to it as a “special version.” We’ll find out tomorrow.
Finally, it seems that ASUS and Samsung are the two “launch partners” whose commitment to actually manufacture the devices will also be announced tomorrow. Macworld reports on Samsung and DailyTech has the ASUS story.