UMPC (Origami) vs Pocket PC

Wow, after all the hype, the details are finally out: and those UMPC's look smart - a complete Windows XP computer in something the size of a paperback book? Not bad. OK, so the three hour battery life of the first generation devices seems a little poor - but in a few years that could improve dramatically. It seems more than the sum of its parts, rather than just a shrunk-down Tablet PC.

I might go so far as to say these computers seem cool. Cool enough to replace portable DVD players, and cool enough to be the "Video iPod" that the rumour sites have been talking about for years. Cool enough that I might actually buy one, and I've not bought a Windows XP computer in a long time. From a cursory glance at the Microsoft website, the Windows Media Center front-end looks very smart. Could it actually be attractive and easy to use? Boy, I really hope so.

I can't help but wonder though, where that leaves the Pocket PC. Is this what the Pocket PC should have been? Running the full Windows Media Player, the full Office Suite, the full Internet Explorer and more games than any one person could play?

What do you think? If Origami takes off, is this the end of the Pocket PC?

Comments (6)

  1. I was thinking about this too.  Of course the Pocket PC fits in the pocket much more easily, has better battery and can also be a phone.

    The current JasJar type Windows Mobile 5 devices are a great form factor for email, internet broswing, mobile office apps, games, phone, outlook etc, and they offer more than UMPC for the mobile worker UNLESS you need that full functionality of the apps.  I was speaking to a friend recently who travels on the train a lot, he didn’t want to lug a laptop around, but did want to edit and prepare powerpoint presentations on the go, and to be able to read/send emails.  He really liked the JasJar (with some third party software to edit PowerPoint slides) and I can’t see a compelling reason why the UMPC would be a better choice for someone like him…

  2. David says:

    Depending on needs, I think there is a market for both.  The price on the UMPC needs to come down though, that’s for sure.  

    I’ll probably buy the UMPC in the next hardware generation.  Who knows though, the itch might need to be scratched sooner.

  3. Dave says:

    I try to use my Pocket PC device (Axim x50v) as much as possible, but there seems to be limitations. The Pocket Internet browser doesn’t work quite right for framed sites, Pocket Word seems to mess up formatted text, etc. Having a true WinXP machine with Office software would definitely help.

    I’d get a UMPC if it was relatively small but had a hi-res screen, had a good web browser, and Office applications. Three hours of continuous batter life would be ok (more would be better), and it needs to be relatively lightweight.

    If the UMPC was the right size and weight and had instant-on capability, I would considering dumping my Pocket PC device!

  4. MOO says:

    Its the yar 2000 all over again with web tablets, if you disagree with that then its 1993 again with the Newton

  5. MSDN Archive says:

    Yup, things go in cycles. Still, you can’t disagree that every iteration brings more and more power in smaller and smaller packages.

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