Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mobile Internet Devices to Take Away the PC Market?

Intel is now promoting two categories of hand held computers: Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs). The MID is a low cost Internet terminal, intended to work with web based applications, while the UMPC is a more powerful device which can run standalone applications. These differ from Microsoft's failed Ultra-Mobile PC, by having a keyboard, a slightly smaller screen and Linux as the default operating system:
Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)
MIDs personalize a new category of small, truly mobile consumer devices enabling a PC-like Internet experience, coupled with the capability to communicate with others, enjoy entertainment, and access information on-the-go.

Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs)
UMPCs combine the benefits of a mobile Internet experience, with the practicality of security and manageability capabilities expected for business or education use. While these devices can be used for communication and entertainment, they also have access to a variety of PC software applications for productivity on-the-go.

From: Intel Ultra Mobile Platform, Intel 2007

These devices will look very similar to pocket computers from a decade ago, but with much better screens and more powerful processors. If the price is low enough, a Mobile Internet Device with WiFi could provide a useful replacement for a home computer and the UMP for a business computer.

Computer manufacturers will face the dilemma, that if they make small cheap useful computers, why would anyone buy their full size, more expensive laptops and desktops? A Mobile Internet Device with a full size screen and keyboard plugged in would make an adequate desktop web terminal for using with web based applications. But if traditional computer companies do not offer these products, then companies which make calculators and consumer electronics will step in and take most of the laptop and desktop computer market from them.

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