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Monday, September 24, 2007

is there a future for UMPC and Tablet PCs?

Today I read this article at UMPCBuzz where  Layne Heiny wrote:

Microsoft abandoned the Tablet PC and UMPC teams - just like most observers decided they would years ago. Because the enthusiasts were too busy and being too nice to Microsoft they missed the story.

In fact, many tech enthusiasts still do not see the great pull-out that happened over the last year. With the huge reorganization at Microsoft - Gates is gone - and so too is the dream of ubiquitous handwriting on Mobile Systems. No one from Microsoft is an evangelist for Tablet PCs and UMPCs. No one stands up and talks about the Tablet PC or UMPC as if there is any need to discuss the product**.

I'm sure that many have thought the same thing when the news of Gates departure from Microsoft was released. Gates was the heart of the Tablet PC Concept and without him this concept could end sooner than what many have thought. The fact that Vista includes handwriting recognition and the fact that this one is a lot better than what we had before in XP is to me a sign that Tablet PCs and UMPCs have a future. I agree with Layne, things at Microsoft are not the same. The UMPC definition is a whole disaster and that thanks in part to Microsoft who never defined clearly what should be called UMPC and that's part of the reason why now we see "things" that can just run a weak version of a want-to-be Internet browser being called UMPC. And that hurts the concept. The Origami Team still working, I know that, but his presence is gone. They have posted two times the last months at Origami Project site but the posts lack of the energy needed to keep a community interested.  More need to be done.

Like Layne I'm in love with UMPCs. They have given me what I could not find in Pocket PCs and before in the already dead concept of Handheld PCs. And I think that there is market that needs this devices but they need some guidance too and they need the enthusiasms coming from Microsoft and OEMs involved in this new technology.

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