Ultra Mobile PC : Microsoft’s Origami does not impress

One can wonder what Microsoft was thinking about when they came forward with the UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer) idea.

Originally nicknamed "Origami", the UMPC looks like the right heir to Microsoft's Tablet PC although some of you might find that it has an uncanny resemblance with the Audrey Web appliance that Cisco/3Com launched back in 2000.

It seems that the true inspiration of the UMPC comes from seeing devices like the Archos AV500 or Creative's Zen Vision. UMPC is all about going everywhere and doing everything.

However, I am still at pains at finding out where the UMPC fits between personal media centres, tablet PCs, smartphones and ultra small laptops. UMPC's are certainly attractive but they are nothing new.

As far as I can see, they are smaller tablets with a slightly lower price tag and a simpler interface. And UMPC are certainly not better than the exquisite OQO which is not only smaller than any UMPC but is also more powerful and runs on Windows XP itself.

The UMPC idea is not going to improve market sales for Microsoft. The software giant should rather focus its precious resources on other priorities like Windows Vista or Internet Explorer 7.0. Origami is a nice idea but it is too little too late as smart phones and Microsoft's own Windows Mobile already allow you to do more for less.