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Summary:

I noticed this story on a new UMPC device from iRiver along with a supporting story here and realized: we’ve got a naming problem on our hands. Maybe it’s just me, but is every mobile computing device under two pounds gaining the "UMPC" moniker? The new […]

Iriver_w10_1I noticed this story on a new UMPC device from iRiver along with a supporting story here and realized: we’ve got a naming problem on our hands. Maybe it’s just me, but is every mobile computing device under two pounds gaining the "UMPC" moniker? The new W10 is definitely a small computing device, but is clearly not an Origami device based on the apparently small screen size. I’ll even give it kudos for supporting WiFi, WiBro and WiMax, but when I think UMPC, I think of the devices like the Samsung Q1 and the TabletKiosk eo. I see no mention of a touchscreen or Tablet PC functionality on the W10 for example. Again, this could just be my lack of understanding on what "UMPC" and "Origami" really mean. I could start digging around for the semi-official specs, but I’m actually more interested in your thoughts.

Are the terms "UMPC" and "Origami" getting overused on devices that are really just small form-factor handhelds? While you ponder that, I’m going to some surfing on my UMPC-phone, er, I mean my XV6700 Windows Mobile 5 device.

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  1. Agreed. If they use UMPC for everything small then they make the term useless.

    That said: UMPC is a stupid name. But then again this is from the company that brought us that OTHER stupid name: WINCE. (pronounced by the common public as the word “wince”)

  2. I think the attempt by Intel and MS to introduce a standardized form factor called the UMPC was timely, and that the near simultaneous introduction of the W10 and the Averratec “UMPCs” are illustrations of this timeliness. The UMPC is a technological possibility now and in the next couple years. In the end, consumers benefit from commoditization of components in any computer form factor. IMO. hat you call these things isn’t as important as the issue of whether the popularity of a form factor drives lower prices and spurs hardware and software development.

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