NY Times David Pogue has a done a delicious review of Microsofts Ultra Mobile PC. It is delicious because by just presenting the evidence as Who, What, When, Where, and Why, the Ultra PC self destructs by sheer description alone. David barely has to add commentary. Okay, a Big Ooops and a few well placed screenshots. Voila, le Ultra se tomber avec son propre coup de grace – stabs itself in the heart – and it is not a pity.
Why the Demise of the Ultra PC is Not a Pity
Information at your finger tips has been the beck and call of Bill Gates, Microsoft, and Windows. But in early 1990s, Pen computing was beginning to take off. But Microsoft did not have anything to respond to this. So as in the case of DOS and then Windows, Microsoft lashed together pieces both bought and envisioned – announcing them as the Windows 3.1 Pen Extensions. The effect of the pre-announcement was to freeze the marketplace. Wait 9-12 months and see what Microsoft can deliver. But Microsoft never really delivered an effectively working Pen operating system. But by pre-announcing, low-ball pricing, and under-delivering during that critical statup period of 1992-1994, Microsoft effectively killed off such Pen competitors as Momenta and Samsung(dithering at best) thru Telepad and Dauphin (some promise) to Grid and Geos (seriously good) among others.
So since the mid-1990s Microsoft has had pen and tablet computing to itself. And it has made it abundantly clear to any interlopers that dare to invade that desktop or near desktop space that No Trespassing Is Allowed. See PDAs and Palm OS < = Windows PE, various mobile phone OS such as Symbian and Linux <=Windows Mobile, even Apples basic iPod devices <= Microsofts upcoming Pod device. So what has Microsoft delivered in the ensuing 12 years that it has controlled/dominated the pen device, stylus handwriting, mouse gestures and tablet marketplace: -Windows 95 Pen Services gone by Windows 98 -Nothing for the rest of the decade -Tablet PC in 2002 to slow acceptance -Tablet PC II in 2004 with Windows XP to mild acceptance -le Ultra Mobile PC, this "third time charm" appears to self destruct So now that Microsoft has proven that it needs competitors like seeing eye dogs to guide its "inventions", do we need any more proof of Redmonds ability to serve up innovation incompetence ? In sum, the need for revenues, momentum, and marketplace dominance at 1 Microsoft Way is so driven and ingrained, the company will find the transition to the new Open Service phase of IT technology very hard to adjust to. Win-Win, integration/interoperability, and sustainable partnerships which are essential to the new IT Space have been driven to near extinction at Redmond. The Bill Gates Successorship has some formidable challenges ahead. (c)JBSurveyer 2006