Perhaps youâ€™ve heard about this â€˜mysteriousâ€™ project from Microsoft prior to its official launch at this Springâ€™s Intel Developer Forum. They tried to create the Apple-esque hubbub around the whole thing, shrouding it in a secretive flash animation. But they tried too hard and when Apple does it, they usually launch something (decently) cool. Microsoft can hardly claim the same thing in their Ultra Mobile PC launch with Intel, Samsung, Asus et al. The thing going to operate either like an enlarged PDA, which could never fit in any regular pocket or a mini tablet, without a keyboard.
Thatâ€™s not to mention that these will be quite expensive ($1K or so at launch) and seem to provide little benefit over existing products. I mean, I canâ€™t carry it in my pocket, so Iâ€™ll need some sort of bag for it anyways. I may as well go for a fully featured tablet in that case. Plus the design of the prototypes arenâ€™t exactly amazing. The ASUS one almost looks pretty decent, but I always get the feeling that it looks more like a PMP than anything else. Overall, not impressed.
Totally unrelated to hardware, Microsoft also launched its Live Search to the world. This is actually somewhat more impressive than that UMPC and fits in with their whole, lets-put-everything-on-the-web idea. The idea of branding everything under the Live banner and integrating the products somewhat is pretty good. Iâ€™ve gone back to the live.com webpage as my homepage again, after using things like Protopage and Goowy for a while. Theyâ€™ve made a lot of changes and done a lot of work to the site since I last visited it. Iâ€™m positively surprised.