- Fact: Vista is not the right choice for a Ultra Mobile PCs unless you need handwriting recognition.
- Fact: Linux is not an option for pro-mobile users.
- Fact: Ultra Low Cost PC’s focus on cost and not mobility features.
- Fact: XP is the best choice of operating system for a pro-mobile device.
So when Microsoft prevents OEM’s from shipping a standard build of XP with a ultra mobile PC and then makes an exception for ULCPC’s it kind of stinks. When they then offer discounts to ULCPC OEMs and specifically block-out mobile devices that use touchscreens (every single X86-based mobile device I have tested, except one, had a touchscreen) it gets offensive.
Pro-mobile users don’t number in the millions like ULCPC customers but they do exist. This website is proof of that. Should these customers be forced into a position where they have to buy a Windows Vista Business based device and then run around to try and find drivers so that they can then spend hours doing the upgrade to Windows XP? Should OEMs in the pro-mobile market be forced to design around notebook processors that are capable of running Vista and thus being hit with design limitations and cost issues?
Not at all.
The answer might lie in developments going on inside Microsoft. Windows Mobile for X86 for example. Componentised Vista or even a re-badged Windows XP ‘mobile’ but right now it looks like the Ghz-class touchscreen UMPCs will suffer a big blow. VIA’s 1Ghz C7, the Celeron 900, the Intel A100 and A110, the Geode LX800 and LX900 and most of the new Intel Atom range are processors that give acceptable and in some cases, surprisingly good real-world performance characteristics under XP but are rendered near-useless under standard Vista builds.
2 years ago, Microsoft created the Origami device specification that included exactly these processors and included the very touchscreens that are now being blocked by them from using the best operating system choice that existed. I wonder how Otto Berkes, the father of Origami, feels about that?