Intel’s upcoming ultra-mobile device (UMD) platform, the one that will somehow be about 86% smaller than current devices (whatever that means) next year, may find itself in the ring against Via Technologies in the UMPC market.
Perhaps in light of Microsoft opting for Via processors in more of their UMPCs, Intel has created a chipset that includes a cheaper, better-performing processor as well as northbridge and southbridge chips. The value of the new platform, according to an Intel executive, is in large part due to built-in wireless technologies (Wi-Fi and WiMAX) and cellular functionalities. The exec believes it could help smooth things over between Intel and Microsoft.
Both Dell and HP both had high hopes for UMPCs (were they planning to release their own?), but neither seems quite as eager as they used to be. If we are expected to believe unnamed market sources, the reason for the waning enthusiasm could be that the demand for the form factor is "unlikely to pick up significantly in the near term."
This sentiment seems to contradict the generally positive reception that Vistagamis (second-gen UMPCs) are getting, so I find this all to be rather confusing. Besides, by the time the UMD platform is launched this summer and shrunk to its optimal size of microscopic in 2008, don’t you think 3G UMPCs will already be on the way?[DigiTimes]