So.. MS has came up with a set of device specs for Ultra Mobile PCs. But of course they themselves aren't making the devices, like the Tablet PC, MS is just providing the software and leaving the hardware specs and stuff to the experts in hardware developement. So what is a UMPC? It's the thing that's formerly known as Origami.
A lot of people out there must be thinking, this is old technology, Here's MS copying other people's ideas again, A small PC, how original!
But MS isn't presenting it as a new idea, the UMPC is a hardware standard like the Tablet PC. So that when a OEM wants to make a device based on those form factors they can choose to use the OS and other software which MS has that makes using those devices easier for the user.
So what did MS do for the UMPC that no one has done before? Let's take a look shall we..
Ooo... look a program launcher that's designed to be operated via a touch screen. Nice... but this is nothing special, just another launcher.
A Windows Media Player 10 skin that's better suited for touchscreen operation.. nope.. nothing too special here.
And then there's this... The errr.. touchscreen thumbboard. Seeing this screenshot and design shows that MS isn't just making up another product why? Because usually whenever someone makes a keyboardless, touch screen tablet style device that runs Windows XP they don't think about implementing any sort of new input functionality, instead all they do is to just make the builtin software keyboard pop up on screen..
And yes.. this thing works but.. you need to take out the stylus then hunt and peck with it.
Where as MS actually looked at the design of the devie and came up with a solution that allows you to enter text conviniently without having to hunt for the stylus everytime. Turns out that it wasn't MS that created the DialKey, but rather another company check it out here I'm a bit bummed that MS didn't come up with the idea, but props to them for bundling it with the system!
Why the word circular design? here take a close look at a UMPC.
Now think again why the circular design was used, of course I do believe not everyone would be able to use it depending on the size of your hands. That's why I'd love to find out what other options you can set on the interface.
In any case.. this is a sweet piece of gear... I'll need to take a close look at it when it decides to arrive here.