I openned a thread yesterday at Microsoft UMPCs web site about this important question. Some users quickly answered that all programs are going to work fine and I explained to them that there are some limitations to be considered: "Considering - I said there - that the screen resolution is just 800x480 that list could be a lot less than what you think. If you add to that that UMPC use DirectX 8, you will have another lot of programs that wont be able to run on this one, add to that that they have a processor that it's not that powerful like the one in Desktop PCs and you will have another bunch of applications that you wont be able to use."
Later on in the same thread answering to another question I added: "Could be that the processor is no powerful enough for these two latest version of it [DirectX]. I don't know the answer to this question but I believe that the answer is relative to the hardware configuration in these devices. That's one of the reasons why I opened this thread. MS team knows about it but has not participated yet and I believe that the main reason is because their test devices have been reassigned to one more important area: Marketing!
Well, I should remind Microsoft that the earlier adopters of these devices are going to be no the "beauty housewife" neither the important "VP". The earlier adopters are going to be IT professionals and geeks and if they do not have clear how good these devices are, just few of them will risk their money in this first generation. These earlier adopters are the continuation of their marketing campaign; they are the ones that are going to post reviews (objective reviews) everywhere in the NET. I was talking yesterday with one guy from one of the online stores taking pre orders and he told me that they are having a hard time doing that, and it seems to me that the main reason is because the potential earlier adopters do not have a clear picture of what good these devices are going to be in the real world. The idea of paying 1000 dollars to do some browsing, show pictures and draw with Paint is not really appealing. We need to know more about practical uses for these devices. What programs have they tested, what are the limitations beside the screen resolution? How good the auto-scaling is? Can programs like Photo shop be used in a bigger resolution using the Auto-Scaling feature?
If MS team demonstrates us here how well these devices are going around some of the limitations that we can "guess" they have I really believe that they are going to see an explosion of units sold in this first wave.
I hope that they are reading these lines and learning from the real world what the market is expecting, something that could be far away from Otto's fantasies ;-) Now is the best time to learn from US real users what are our needs. "
If you are insterested to know if your favorite program works in UMPCs, please feel free to participate in that thread. It's the time to show Microsoft what the real market needs.