Do you want your phone to be a computer?


Just a few weeks after ReadWriteWeb declared that the smartphone is not a phone but a computer, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, VP for Windows Phone, introduced Windows Phone 7 Series and repeated several times in his announcement that "the phone is not a PC." The latter statement makes sense in the context of how Windows Mobile was previously designed as a truncated desktop operating system that wasn't ideally suited for handsets, but in more general terms, my immediate response to Belfiore's mantra is "it's not?"

Let's see. The Nokia N900 phone is marketed as a mobile computer. Many people use their Windows Mobile, Android, and other smartphones for nearly everything they would typically do on a notebook; some can even travel with nothing but a phone and still have all of their entertainment and productivity needs met by the device. A smartphone is obviously not meant to replace a PC, but aren't all the added features and hardware/software upgrades we're seeing more of almost every day intended to make it a little more PC-like? Aren't most people looking for the ultimate in convergence in order to leave the house with just one device in their pocket?

We talk a lot about whether we want our MIDs/UMPCs to be phones, but we don't often consider the inverse question: do we want our phones to be computers?

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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