Tag Archives: UMPC

Rumor: What’s next from Apple? Atom-powered mini-tablet? Tablet Mac? iTablet?


Atom-powered mini-tablet! This one was pretty hot! ZDNet reported that Intel Germany CEO Hannes Schwaderer confirmed that there is an iPhone that will be using Intel’s new Atom processor. According to lore, the elusive device is slightly larger than iPhone and speculation that it could be the long-rumored Apple mini-tablet with a 720 x 480 display.

Intel smashed this one pretty quickly, yesterday saying that Schwaderer’s comments were misinterpreted. Intel merely believes that the iPhone is representative of a new kind of platform (called the Mobile Internet Device or MID) and that Atom is expected to form the heart of many MIDs.

apple mini-tablet

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Will Microsoft kill Linux on ULPCs?


Obviously, Microsoft has a significant interest in making sure that users of the new breed of netbooks and MIDs hitting the market don’t get too comfortable using Linux. Many manufacturers have taken to installing various flavors of Linux on these devices to minimize footprint, improve performance, and reduce costs on low-power, low-margin hardware. Similarly, most modern Linux distributions provide features that are tough to find on Windows XP (especially XP Home); Vista clearly isn’t an option on these little guys.

ULPCs come up a lot in Ed Tech, partly because the OLPC XO, largely credited with creating this market, is an educational tool and also because ULPCs have the potential to make 1:1 computing realistic (or even to simply make any sort of computing realistic in developing markets). The OS of choice for students today will be the OS of choice in business tomorrow; hence, Microsoft’s concern over the use of Linux.

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Microsoft: June 30 Windows XP cut-off set in stone


Microsoft made it official on April 3: There will be no new reprieves for Windows XP (other than on Ultra Low-Cost PCs).

Some customers and partners had been hoping the company might extend again the deadline for all PC makers to be allowed to preload Windows XP, rather than Windows Vista, on new PCs. But today, Microsoft officials said the current June 30, 2008 cut-off date would remain in place for the vast majority of machines.

The one new exception, as some were anticipating, are Ultra Low-Cost PCs (ULPCs), which Microsoft defines as systems like the Asus Eee and Intel Classmate — “significantly more restricted hardware with less expensive processors and more limited graphics capabilities. ULPCs should not be confused with the higher-priced and more robust UMPCs, or Ultra-Mobile PCs (a k a “Origami” devices); Microsoft is continuing to encourage UMPC makers to build their systems around Vista.

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Tiny Cloudbook runs Google-oriented Linux


The Asus EEE has competition. FIC/Everex has confirmed plans to ship a UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) with a 7-inch screen in January. The “Cloudbook” will ship with the Google Apps-oriented “gOS” Linux distribution, in standard and “Developer” editions. According to our anonymous source, the initial Cloudbook model will be powered by a Via C7 ULV processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and come with a 30GB hard drive. It will ship in mid-January in two models, one of which will have a 1.2MP webcam. In general, the hardware appears to closely resemble Via’s Nanobook design.

Preceding the Cloudbook’s mid-January launch, Everex plans to ship a “Developer” version equipped with a touchscreen, our source revealed. That version will come with gOS source code and toolchains, similar to the gOS development board. gOS is an Everex-sponsored Linux distribution optimized for use with Google Apps.

Everex itself officially confirmed the Cloudbook’s existence Tuesday, when a press release on another topic alluded to a “Cloudbook” UMPC with a 7-inch screen. Our source suggested that Everex would likely launch the Cloudbook at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the week of Jan. 7, with consumer availability as soon as Jan. 15.

The Developer edition will launch earlier — possibly on January first. It was originally scheduled for earlier release, but was reportedly delayed by short supplies in the market for 7-inch touchscreens.

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