There’s news today of an HTC executive saying the company will have Windows Mobile 7 devices in the first quarter of 2009. That may or may not be true, but assuming that it is, my guess is that among the first devices from HTC will be a Windows Mobile 7 netbook. The momentum is growing for low-priced, small laptop form-factor devices so you can bet HTC won’t be waiting two to three years to jump on this market. We can debate the success of the HTC Shift, their entry into the UMPC market, but here’s what I’m thinking. If you call the Shift a failure, it’s not due mainly to the form factor; it’s likely due to the comparably lower resolution screen coupled with the pairing of Vista with the Intel A1xx CPU.
So what if you took the Shift form factor with a few tweaks and popped in a decent CPU with Windows Mobile 7? Granted, you won’t have x86 program compatibility, but based on rumors that WinMo 7 will be robust enough for a Mobile Internet Device or Netbook to combat mobile Linux distros. There’s a ton of third-party applications out there for Windows Mobile… anyone else thinking along the same lines as me? Would you be interested in a small notebook form factor with Windows Mobile 7? I’m expecting to see such a device at CES 2009.