Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Test for UMPC's

There has been a number of arguments lately over whether a certain device is an Ultra Mobile PC, not according to Microsoft's specs, but in the broader sense. Most of the arguments have focused around Ultra Mobile, I'd like to weigh in with my own descripton, heavily weighted toward the PC in UMPC.

The Ultra Mobile part is fairly obvious, every device people have mentioned is ultra portable. But are they PC's?

I've devised three tests for a UMPC:

1) Does it run a mainstream operating system?

Mainstream Linux, Windows, Apple, all fine. If it runs Windows CE, a propretary OS,  a Smartphone OS, PDA OS or some flavor of Linux that no one has ever heard of, it doesn't fit the mainstream definition of a PC and therefore can't be a UMPC.

2) If I took this unit's specs and put it into a desktop, would an average user think it was a PC?

If I stuck the Q1's specs in a box, people could run all the normal XP aps. It would still be a PC and be as powerful as the Dell at my house. If I stuck the specs from a Nokia 770 in a box it would be called a thin client or an internet terminal, not a PC.

3) Can it run productivity apps without modification?

Let's face it, gamers aside, productivity is what made the PC. If it runs Office, OpenOffice or a similar variant without having to connect to anything or run a special version, it's a PC. If you can't edit a spreadsheet without jumping through hoops, it's something else.

If you can answer "Yes" to all three questions, I think you have an ultrmobile PC.

1 comment:

Chippy said...

I like your definition. No2 is perfect!

Steve