For the first time, it looks as though Microsoft may beat Apple to a prime consumer market segment:
Microsoft working on paperback-sized PC (Businessweek.com)
“Microsoft has confirmed that an ultra-mobile PC is in the works, but the company has declined to offer specific details. A Web site set up by the Redmond company, http://www.origamiproject.com, has been teasing would-be buyers with tidbits about the project, and fueling speculation about what the new devices might do.
The early versions are expected to debut at an industry conference on March 9, and to be available to consumers soon after, the person familiar with the plans said.
They will be built by a variety of computer makers, this person said, and are expected to sell for between $500 and $1,000, although final prices aren’t yet available.
The computers will generally be less powerful than full-fledged PCs, although they will have all the functionality of a Windows PC, this person said. The small size means they won’t necessarily have a keyboard. Some other small or advanced computer devices let people use a stylus and a touch screen rather than a keyboard to input information.
Microsoft is expecting that people will use the small computers for things like looking at photos, watching movies, finding driving directions and checking e-mail. For now, at least, they will not have the advanced entertainment capabilities found in computers running the “media center” version of Windows, this person said. Those computers allow people to do things like record television.”
Steve… are you there, Steve? … the sky is dimming … can you see anything? … the horizon is fading… Steve?