UMPC Search Term Still in Decline. What Shall We Do?

Updated on 11 March 2010 by

We see no point in ignoring the real facts. ultra mobile PC is a term in decline and has been for the last 18 months. Despite 2009 seeing more UMPCs than ever before and customer numbers remaining solid, the keyword trends are changing. We’ve held up well and, to be honest, have been one of the longest lasting businesses in the ultra mobile PC market so I don’t feel too sad about it but I think there’s a crossroad coming up. I actually think the market itself, the sales numbers and number of new products is on the up and that mobile internet-based productivity is a hotter topic than ever so while the term ‘UMPC’ is dying off, its soul continues. I’m certainly not experiencing a lack of things to write about!

umpcvolume

The question is, how do we, UMPCPortal and the ultra mobile PC community of bloggers, manufacturers, resellers and fans, adapt to the change in keyword fashion and the increasing number of options in the MID, smartphone and netbook market? How do we best position ourselves to be able to help and assist new people coming into the market and to grow and improve in the future?

It’s getting close to decision time on UMPCPortal and we have some choices. We’ve always covered the high-end of smartphone ‘computing’ to the smaller and lighter end of netbook computing so if we were starting afresh, our name would reflect that wider coverage. On the other hand, there are a lot of people that come here because of the name!

My personal thought it that there needs to be a split between professional, productive devices based on desktop operating systems and aimed at the high-end and specialist end of the market, and consumer focused devices running consumer-friendly operating systems. MIDMoves is one place we could do the consumer stuff while leaving the professional stuff here. With a common forum and product portal, it could work as two front doors to a great customer learning experience with a common community and product information database.

What do you think? There are nearly 400,000 people that visit here each month so it’s important I try and do what’s best for new and existing visitors. If I lose too many visitors, everything comes crashing down. If we increase visitors, we stand a better chance of improving the site, our contacts and our coverage in the future. We also increase our chances of having a real voice and representing what the customers REALLY want. What YOU want.

What do you think is best for the future of UMPCPortal and the ‘UMPC’ community?

91 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    New article: UMPC Search Term Still in Decline. What Shall We Do? http://cli.gs/nqryj

  2. Benz145 says:

    I think a switch would be much more simple if ‘MID’ wasn’t an awful search term, its unfortunate that Intel chose to use it.

  3. Chippy says:

    You’re exactly right there. MID is just the worst search term. Intel said they will continue to use it but I don’t believe they can.

    Having said that, people search for products, not categories on Google. Maybe i’m missing the whole point of SEO. The major keywords are in the products, not the wider-ranging categories. (In which case, sticking with UMPCPortal might be fine!)

    Steve

  4. Sokonomi says:

    I indeed stumbled into umpc portal after looking up the OQO, never having heard of this “section” of devices. I think UMPC is a wonderfull database for making a decision on a purchase, aswell as a great place for gadget enthusiasts (different wording for geek) to get a daily fix.

    Ive noticed its becoming increasingly hard to keep the ever growing diversity of devices contained in one big category. I support the idea of splitting casual and proffesional (if youre looking for a fancy phone, you might not care for miniature laptops and vice versa), although I think it might create another hard to define line among devices. Is a Viliv X70 a casual tablet browser, or a great tool for professions like doctors and warehouse workers.

    Goodluck with your decision, Steve!

  5. Chuck says:

    MidMoves is too locked into Intel. If you are going to split, then stay away from potential vendor bias.

    Personaly I feel that we are entering a period where things are going to get real confusing. ARM vs X86, Intel vs Qualcom vs Nvidia vs Via vs AMD, WinMo vs Android vs iPhone vs ???. I would suggest that splitting the site just now does not make sense. What is needed is a way to funnel all the alternatives to one site with coverage for all.

  6. Chippy says:

    MIDMoves is a good Intel focused channel. A lot of great news and contacts have come out of it and it makes sense to keep that channel running for everyone’s advantage. I hope i’m doing the right thing by keeping it separate. Its quite a worry to think that people might think ALL my intel coverage is influenced by it. I can say up front and with all honesty though, Intel, like everyone in the ecosystem, are extremely open and understanding of the way things are done on the internet. I’m quite sensitive to pressure and careful that people don’t take liberties with me and i’ve never had any issues with anyone that i’ve worked with.

  7. Chuck says:

    MidMoves works fine as is. Having the Intel conections is valuable. Just don’t mix it with UMPCPortal or CarryPad. Trying to mix the Intel focus with the rest of the consumer space (“MIDMoves is one place we could do the consumer stuff while leaving the professional stuff here.”) would be a mistake, especially with the moves that Qualcom and Nvidia are making in this space.
    If you must have a consumer/prosumer split then use the CarryPad site.

  8. jkkmobile says:

    Well… if you are listening nokia, their “smart phones” are mobile computers..

    I see umpc fitting fine on all devices that are mobile and compute. .. Maybe a bit more high end than low end ones thou..

    When nokia releases their moorestown x86 communicator with desktop quality browser and external screen support I will call it a umpc too.

    Remember that when we have the word ultra in front of mobile computer it states that they are small.. and getting smaller.

  9. turn_self_off says:

    Or at the very least can carry it around all day without feeling a strain from the weight.

  10. Boit says:

    be generic as possible, use the word “mobile”

    MID, UMPC, netbook are to specific

  11. Sokonomi says:

    Thats where the catch is. The confusion of portable and mobile. EEE PCs and other netbooks, while portable, arnt ULTRAmobile. To me Ultramobile should mean “use anywhere”, basicly the ability to whip it out on the streets anywhere you want. Thats the whole appeal of a UMPC/MID.

    You cant use netbooks like the EEE PC while waiting in line at the post office, hence they are merely portable, having the ability to be conveyed from place to place by hand.

  12. turn_self_off says:

    Heh, that reminds me of a image i spotted, where a young woman was sitting with a netbook (most likely) up against the wall of a subway station or somewhere similar.

    And things get even more blurry with products like the celio redfly. Lets say they get a client going for android, or that a WM phone shows up that use cortex. With said phone in your pocket, and the redfly in your backpack you can do quick stuff in a line, and more input intensive stuff when you can sit down and unfold the redfly.

  13. Josef says:

    I think the general term UMPC is a bit too special. Mobile Computing is better for me. Ultra is too special. But what to do. Name it MPC. I tell you why. Most of the Devices here are Mobile Devices not Ultra Mobile. The Asia market is big and good for mobile users, but the european is not “mature”. As i had a Nokia 9000 years ago everyone was laughing, now i see a lot of such devices, but not so much UMPC as you report. I hope you know what i mean.

    And for the rest of the words, i concur jkk.

  14. turn_self_off says:

    Or maybe ultra-personal computing? as whats more personal then something you carry with your every day?

  15. Chippy says:

    Mobile computing works really well for pro-level mobility but I think it’s a scary term for consumers that are coming in from the facebook and flickr angle.
    Clearly ‘mobile computing’ is the core of what we deal with here but how to make the expression user friendly. (Assuming I was to keep everything under one banner of course)

  16. Marc says:

    Steve,

    as an owner of UMPC, Netbook, Smartphone and Notebook my experience is:

    1) Next Gen smartphones will cover professional functionality (as opposed to spec functionality) of UMPCs. There is nothing I need to do with my Everun I can’t do with the next Xperia. Add a stowaway keyboard for the odd full function work session, and there you got some professional mobility in a small format.

    2) My notebook (Dell e4300) has become so good in many categories: battery, keyboard, noise, speed, weight, portability, screen…..it’s a pleasure to work on it: everywhere. My netbook is unused, although it is completely silent: which was my dream function for many years. I will not buy another netbook.

    Based on my experience, I see a tough time ahead for UMPCs and Netbooks in both consumer and professional markets.

  17. turn_self_off says:

    The only thing that may put a dampener on 1) is the software side.

  18. Sinaâ„¢ says:

    MID Phone: on the rise:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=mid+phone&btnG=Google+Search

  19. Jim says:

    Keep umpc, because ultimately it’s about ultra mobile computing. Although there are more devices than ever, still none of them fit my needs, I need your site to keep me informed when the right one comes along!

  20. Chippy says:

    Don’t worry Jim. I’ll still be here. I’m still looking for my Carrypad and loving every minute of the work I do. When I find my Carrpad, I start the search for Carrypad V2!

  21. Addic says:

    The two door approach with Midmoves sounds great, but would you be truly happy (and able) to compare and discuss devices driven by Via, AMD, TI etc there. As those chip manufacturers if not already in the smartphone/Consumer market are aiming to get in to it.

    The split division between consumer and professional devices while good in theory probably wouldn’t be good practice long term: example my most recent smartphones HTC Universal, HTC Dash, HTC TytnII and possible HTC Touch Pro2 were all released as business smartphones before finally crossing over in to the carriers consumer market.

    A possible suggestion could be splitting the catagories between full OS such as XP, Vista, Win7 (and whatever is on a Mac, no bias intended :-) against Windows Mobile, Maemo, Android etc.

    Whatever you decide there will always be devices that fall in to a grey area. The title UMPC is a tad outdated now, how about considering Ultra Mobile Computing, which is what we’re really discussing here whether as a consumer or professional.

  22. turn_self_off says:

    Thing is that it will only take a killer app to bump a “phone” os to a “full” os…

    I would say that if one could run spreadsheets on android running on a netbook, there would be a whole lot of people considering it a full os…

  23. Sinaâ„¢ says:

    cons of umpc-p:
    no official site for the products on the db.
    poor tech specs of devices.

  24. Chippy says:

    Thanks for the feedback Sina. I’m afraid this is a result of running the site with one pair of hands. Ben helps out nicely with the news and Pocketables.net and Liliputing.com do a great job adding products to the DB but the whole site is still managed by my fair hands. You wouldn’t believe the ToDo list that exist for the site!
    I hope that despite any errors or missing details, you still find the site helpful? I’d hate it to be a hindrance.

  25. Ancient1 says:

    Its in the name ..
    Desktop (Notebook) -> Netbook | UMPC <- Celular
    Windows/Linux | WinCE etc

    I guess the choice of a new name depends on the current search terms used.

    The site’s style is a bit oldish.

  26. Sokonomi says:

    A UMPC belongs in the windows/linux category just asmuch as any netbook/notebook/laptop imho.

  27. Vit says:

    IMHO. Steve. stay with what you have, that’s UMPC. Than more you change names, than more you confuse your visitors. It is simple ABCs of marketing. Om top of that, UMPC is a pretty descriptive name for this segment of the market. Netbooks, mids, etc., are more narrow and can serve better as a subcategory. Besides, if you lool at upcomming devices, most of them touch screen, most of them are running some version of Wimdows, even companies like Archors “croosed to the dark side”. With release of W7, devices such as Asus T91, Archos 9 you can expect strong movement towards fully functional mini and micro PCs. Just as Asus EeePc did for netbooks. Then what? You’ll go back to UMPCPortal?

  28. Chippy says:

    You echo some of my own thoughts but when I see a declining level of interest in the UMPC keyword and big companies like Intel and ARM looking towards more consumer oriented marketing terms, I feel I need to follow in order to help/catch the people that are looking for advice in those keyword segments.

    Building a brand is important and yes, UMPCPortal is a good brand on the internet (even if I do say so myself!) but I have to think about the next 5 years. Mobile Internet products will boom in the next 3 years (OMG, I can’t even think about the scale of what’s going to happen!) and I want to be there, reporting, rsearching, advising, helping and, to be honest, securing my financial stability through it.

    UMPCPortal would be so hard to let go of though!

  29. Corrupted Mind says:

    Vit, you snatched the words right out of my mouth. Steve, its aspirational. A UMPC is what we want but haven’t been given yet. It allows us to reach out to netbooks, MIDs, Smartphones and be critical because they still haven’t delivered on the promise of UMPC’s. Okay, this is starting to sound like a manifesto.

  30. Chippy says:

    Haha. I love our passion!

    One of the things I need to do is to run to where the ball is going to land. That doesnt mean losing focus on the productivity UMPCs that many of us love but it does mean having a presence in the new, bigger, consumer markets that I also love. My passion for the 4″ to 10″ category is quite scary!

    How about 4-to-10.com ;-)

    Steve

  31. Jenn K. Lee says:

    RT @chippy New article: UMPC Search Term Still in Decline. What Shall We Do? http://cli.gs/nqryj

  32. Chippy says:

    How about simply adding a one-liner to the UMPCPortal header highlighting that we’re looking at 4 to 10″ devices in the consumer and pro segment?

    If everyone else drops away in the UMPC segment then we’ll have free reign over the term!

    Just a thought.

  33. lurch says:

    Words like UMPC are artificial, created by marketing people seeking for a word to describe a new product (back then) to the public, trying to create a new demand. Today, more and more people just have a desire to stay connected to the internet while they’re on the road so focus on “mobile” or “on the road” or similar words…
    Apart from that, thanks for your ongoing coverage! Your sites’ database made me buy my OQO 02 more than a year ago and I haven’t regretted this decision until today!

    Martin

  34. Vakeros says:

    Mobile is the key word I think. Personal is useful. Ultra is more refined as are other terms. So how about Personal Mobile Computing? This allows you to continue covering what you are but with a tag-line that makes sense to all who are searching for such devices. I have been enjoying UMPC since the end of 2006. I think it is a category, like MID. You need the broader aspect that you are covering with space within. So maybe PMC should be your headline with UMPC, MID and Netbooks as tags….
    Whatever happens, MIDMoves just doesn’t hack it the same as UMPCPortal.

  35. CGI says:

    UMPC defines a product type. Just as Netbook and MID do.

    I own a UMPC. An ultra mobile computer -> Fully capable. Netbooks and MID’s are not the same.

    Perhaps the drop in search term hits is more related to the influx of new product types and a watering down of the search. No doubt if you add UMPC+Netbook+MID you get a higher count than years ago. Which illustrates the trend of more interest in mobile computing… and the potential for more “customers” here.

  36. Chippy says:

    I have a domain name ‘hiblue.com’ Wondering if that might be worth using as it’s short.

    HiBlue, beyond the cloud?

    Comments?

  37. ssagg says:

    Steve
    I almost lost you a couple of years ago when you changed the site name (or when you acquired this) and I don’t think the name is actually important. Anyone looking for a ultra mobile solution is going to land here even if he doesn’t know the term (I get here googling the Oqo 01 when I still didn’t know what UMPC meaned). So I say keep the name but the idea of splitting the focus between this site and another more consumed oriented (I concour with the idea of that the OS is a good diferentiating feature)seems to me a good politic. There are too many devices and they are so different that they can’t be easily grouped.

  38. Realty says:

    Chippy, I would not chase the hot word of the moment. The venacular is changing to fast. Also you will never fully peg professional from consumer devices. Too much grey area. I would keep UMPC. Its descriptive and broad enough to cover the entire field. If you split your time beween two sites you will not do either one justice. Engadget, JK on the run, Pocketables, etc… do not describe a particular product or category however people go there for info. I would add Ultra Mobile Personal Computing as a sub line to your title and continue on as you are.

  39. Ken Neal says:

    I have read here for a very long time, in silence. I agree UMPC is not a good search term. “Mobile Internet” may be a good term for a while. Chippy you are right to think about the next three years. Over the next year many interesting products will happen. Someone needs to put a good short name to these things.

    Smartbook is another cool name. I wish Intel would consider borrowing it. The Smartbooks I’ve read about (and netbooks) are bigger than what I want to carry around all day. The UMID with 4.8 screen and keyboard is a great form factor. The similar size slide format devices are good to. I only worry about thier mechanisms, long term. A five inch screen is the sweet spot. If Smartbook catches on, but is large in size, they could shrink down to the size we want.

    All these devices will also carry voice. I would really like a Moorestown phone. How about the AtomPhone or aPhone. Nah. So, what fits between a phone and a paperback book? Don’t know. You could compromise and call it Smartphone and Netbook Portal. I also check Pocketables.net. That is a great name. I see you share the products database with Jenn. Any chance of merging sites?

    Ultra Mobile and Pocketables.Com

    Thanks for your work. Good luck with this important decision.

  40. Chippy says:

    Thanks everyone for all your feedback.

    A few points I have clear in my head now.

    1 – People search for product names and land on a site. They don’t search for a ‘UMPC’
    2 – Changing site name is risky
    3 – I can add a tagline to the UMPCPortal. (‘Smart, Mobile and Internet-Connected’ for example)
    4 – MIDMoves will continue as an Intel-sponsored project for the time being.
    5 – I will have to set up Carrypad.com again as it’s my company name (I will feature and link out to UMPCPortal, MIDMOves, MeetMobility and Solar-UMPC from there.)

    More important than changing the name could be organising a better forum and enhancing the product portal.

    I’ll give it some though over the next weeks. Again, thanks everyone for your input and feedback. It’s encouraging that so many people take the time to make a comment.

  41. Vakeros says:

    Like the tag-line in 3.

  42. beemer says:

    To divide into categories is difficult because aither device can be used for professional and cosumer needs.
    You can change the name to SmartBooks-MID-UMPC-NetbookPortal, but perhaps it is something long ;) althought you can use these and more terms in the tags.

    For the name, MobilePCPortal may be enought. It is not Mobile that means Phone and not a specific design.

  43. jez@sammynetbook.com says:

    This thread has made for interesting reading as this is something I have thought about several times over the last few months. I have always been aware that “SammyNetbook” is quite a specific name and I actually purchased SammyMobile during the whole “Netbook” is a trademark row.

    I think the biggest loss would be the “brand”. When I say “I heard this over at UMPC Portal” people know exactly where I mean – this site is well thought of and respected thanks to the continuous quality of posting. However I have no doubt the site would regain its reputation in the event of a move, but you would see a dip I expect.

    I have moved websites before both professionally and my hobby site (sammynetbook.com) and found that they normally pick up again and get back to the same search engine rankings they used to. If you email out move details before hand to other sites in this area, to people like me who have a lot of respect for UMPCPortal, you would probably find many would be willing to post up about the move, let their readers know and give the new domain some good links from day 1.

    Anyway, good luck with the choice, I don’t think there is a clear right or wrong answer!

  44. Chippy says:

    Thanks Jez. Nice feedback there.

    The brand is important. In a way, I hope that the term UMPC dies completely away so that it would leave UMPCPortal as unique.
    Steve.

  45. tal says:

    I would just call it Handheld on the run and merge with jkkmobile.

  46. Chippy says:

    handheld on the run. I like it. GigaOm might not though!
    JKK and I work well together anyway and we’re both sharing our visitors well. I don’t see a need for coming under one banner. At least not yet!

  47. David says:

    It could be that the search word UMPC is in decline because the people who are interested in it know the web URL or name of the device they want to know about. Versus in the begining when everything was new and noone knew much.

    I for example have not used “UMPC” to find anything in several months. Becauuse I look for umpc portal, pdadb.net, sumsung mondi, n810 or something similar when I need to know.

    Having said all of that the term UMPC itself is on the decline while the term MID is probably on the upswing for the time being. Since these swings are temporary you perhaps should not base the site name on a either of them, least to have to change it again in 2-3 years.

  48. andrew hill says:

    Why change ? KVR is a dumb name – but if you’ve ever been interested in software music you will always end up at kvraudio.com for example, because it has the largest and best database/forum. Content is what gets people here – and yours is among the best :)

  49. Greg says:

    I have greatly enjoyed your writing style. You are an excellent blogger. You respect the products and us, your readers. UMPCPortal is not the only site in need or eventually in need of a new moniker as the industry morphs from emphasis to another. I would suggest a name, not too specific or you will be changing again. Actually, I would prefer something like Chippy’s Mobile Computing. Something simple and easy to remember.

  50. Chippy says:

    I did think about adding the ‘Chippy’ name to it to give it an Ultra Personal Feel but in the long term, that might not be such a good move. I have Chippy’s Hiblue Lab for my personal stuff and it’s fun to mess about there without risk of affecting my income ;-)

  51. Phil says:

    BRING BACK THE OQO AS A REFERENCE UMPC MODEL. In my opinion, there isn’t a better device that defines what a UMPC is. Please don’t ignore OQO’s design qualities. It still is the best UMPC design in existance. All touch screens lack keyboards, which is a major design flaw for a UMPC. Touch screen devices are internet devices, not productivity devices. VILIV x70, x5, are not UMPC’s (you can not be productive on a touch screen, you can surf, but not type productively)

  52. Okonomi says:

    OQO being the best, or usefull as a benchmark is completely laughable. Furthermore you sound alot like some guy ive seen picketed out of town a while back, for pushing the OQO in peoples faces at every oppertunity.

  53. Phil says:

    I think we need to draw the line with the OS on the device. Windows mobile OS is NOT a UMPC, or MID device. A UMPC needs to be able to run productivity software, Windows XP, maybe MAC, maybe Linux. But a UMPC or MID has to run a desktop OS. That’s why UM”PC” has Personal Computer. MID only has “I” internet, which can be run with any OS (weak to powerful), means a weaker less product OS can be used to surf the internet. IMO just surfing the internet is not powerful enough to be classified a portable computer.

    We need power, not just internet power.

    -Phil

  54. Okonomi says:

    That actually makes alot of sence, although the lines on the linux front are quite thin. Moblin is far from productive, but still linux.

  55. Phil says:

    Okonomi, if you notice, I say in my opinion, but as the second post states, OQO is what drew the majority of people to UMPC and this site in the first place. Okonomi, what got you interested in UMPC’s to begin with? Please help state those web searches you looked for, when you first got interested in UMPC’s. I looked for OQO. I might have looked for mobile SAP. Something more powerful then windows mobile. With a keyboard. You don’t think this sounds accurate, dated? Please, I think we are comparing old interests/searches to current interests/searches. What I’m saying, the old interests are still relevant now, since there still is not a perfect device that defines the UMPC market. They are all playing with touch screen MID’s which confuses the UMPC market, since it’s all about surfing and not being productive, which still should be relevant. Stop being a hater Okonomi. haha

    -Phil

  56. Okonomi says:

    Horse and carriage has brought people to invent many more vehicles. There is no use looking for benchmarks, because “the best UMPC/MID” is an illusion. There is no perfect one. Its like comparing apple pie to cheesecake. Both are equally good, just different. It just depends on you what flavour works best, for YOU. Just because you love OQO’s, doesnt mean everyone else in the world would agree with you. Exactly that is what makes appointing one single device for a benchmark so futile.

  57. Phil says:

    I’m going to have to state this. The more this site does not reference/reinforce a good UMPC design example, the more it will pull away from UMPC’s and more towards MIDS. Even though there is not much news in UMPC’s, I guess this site has to be relevant to the market, which is all about surfing the internet. It is good Chippy is asking for advice. (alot of websites might fade away when the market changes). I think once you get into surfing devices, there’s an even tougher argument MID vs IPHONE. Why get a larger MID to surf, just bigger screen? Slightly faster surf times? See dangerous. But adding a keyboard and windows OS, completely different ball game. I think keyboard/OS and productivity needs to be totally reinforced during reviews and news on this website.

  58. Lelah says:

    I’ve been looking for a smaller lighter computer to carry around in my classroom. My searching went somewhat as follows (one term leading to another, or to several others):

    lightweight laptop
    netbook
    tablet pc
    slate pc

    Only after I had done quite a bit of searching/reading did I come up with the term “UMPC”, which I hadn’t heard before and had to look up!

    I just thought you might like to hear from an “outsider” (but someone who’s had computers since the Apple II.)

  59. Chippy says:

    This is an example of what i’m thinking about. People will largely start their search based on a product name and branch out from there but there must be many people like you Lelah, that just start with an idea. UMPCPortal means nothing to people like you.

    Ultra Mobile Life is a good one. (VIA owns it and it’s dormant right now.)

    I’m still thinking that a tagline might be the safer move.
    Smart, Mobile and Internet-Connected

    I just changed the home page title to include it and might add it to the logo if I feel comfortable with it.

    Steve.

  60. ssagg says:

    Phil
    I´m partially with you. And partially not.
    I´m totally in love with my Oqo. I agree it´s, for me, the best UMPC to the date and I almost can´t understand how anyone can think otherwise (except if they NEED a bigger screen) but at the same time I don´t see the relation with the subject of this thread. Do you suggest that it should narrow to keyboard UMPC´s only?
    I agree about the OS. A UMPC must have a Desktop OS (even if Okonomy is wright about Linux being undefined) and must be productive (as vage as it is this concept) but I can accept that some people can stand a keyboardless device.
    I think Chippy should focus in Full OS, productive, 5″/9″ screened devices. Anything under that is a MID or a smartphone and anything over it is a notebook. Actually I would like it better if it narrows to 5″/7″ but I know I´ll be skin ripped if I dare to say this.

  61. ssagg says:

    BTW Steve
    Were does the Oqo 01 and 02 launchs fit in the graphic?

  62. admin says:

    The graphic is auto-generated by Google. Many important events don’t appear on it.
    Google Trends:
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=umpc

  63. Morganj says:

    First of all, i have to say how much i have come to find that UMPCPortal is part of my daily internet ritual. (Can’t live without it)

    I like many people came to find this site by searching the net for information when i was considering buying my first UMPC (Gigabyte M704), i did not search for UMPC i was searching specificaly for M704 and found this site through the product database.

    I think that your idea Chippy of improving the product database and forums will be the way to go. Specific search term trends come and go faster than ever these days, so trying to name a site to follow them will be a fruitless task. Adding extra information in the tag line will help in the short term but again usefull tags change all the time as people start coining new terms to define a product or usage scenario.

    Please try not to split the site into Professional and Consumer oriented sites, I for one use my devices for both situations and wholeheartedly enjoy articles written for both markets.

    Please keep up the good work and keep us all informed of any further thoughts or plans you may have.

    Morganj

  64. Chippy says:

    Morganj. You have a good point.
    We only have one 24hr day and often a UMPC ‘buddy’ is with us for that continuous period and covers many scenarios.
    Thanks for that thought.

  65. Phil says:

    ssagg, dunno, yeah you can always add a keyboard and be a little productive with touch screens. OS maybe more helpful distinction. I just prefer keyboard input method, even on cell phones. (even on remote controls, touch screens, you always need to look where your fingers are typing, you can’t feel it) I think touch screen good for short messages/surfing, but even like a work orientated email, with bullet points, word/excel editing (inserting/deleting words/letters, highlight copy/paste), does it work well? maybe.

    -Phil

  66. Al says:

    The simple problem with UMPC’s and MIDS or whatever you want to label these ultra small fun PC computers are that there is NOT one that is small enough to fit into a large inside jacket pocket that also provides a touch type keyboard input. It really is that simple. It is not the price, it is not internal processors/etc.; the fact is that a full PC requires a touch type keyboard to be considered valuable and usable to most people.

    What we need to see these devices become popular is to somehow get that message to companies that build computers so that finally a UMPC/MID that people would want to buy will be available.

  67. ssagg says:

    Oh no.
    Here he comes again

  68. Flaxs says:

    I agree with Al, as I feel that he hit the nail on the head as to why there is such a declining interest on UMPC’s. I do not understand that something so basic has been ignored. I for one see a full PC UMPC without a keyboard a pretty useless toy and am sure others feel the same.

  69. TareX says:

    MID is a lost cause. Don’t adopt it…
    UMPC, well, it’s a dying cause no doubt.
    Netbook, well this site it more than about netbooks.
    Smartphones, well you don’t cover enough of them to associate yourself to them.

    My guess is, stick to “portable computing” or something down that line.

  70. Okonomi says:

    If this place starts doing the whole phone thing, im outta here. :’) I was happy to have finally found a site that wasnt overly saturated with “iphonism”, where I could get my daily micro computing fix. Please dont be like everybody else.

  71. Al says:

    I think the main distinction should be the operating system of mainly focusing on mobile devices that are able to run a desktop operating system.

    In order to try to help influence both the MIDS and UMPC’s in a postive way so that they do not continue to decline you should try to get the designers of these computers to realize that if they create a basic pocket laptop with a touch type keyboard they will have strong sales. Right now it is clear that none of the pen input or thumb key devices has ever generate any real strong demand and that is obvious as that is the weak point. A full PC operating system and the type of work people do on those programs requires a touch type keyboard.

    If UMPC Portal can influence companies to create that type of a UMPC or MID then there will be more demand on these devices. If not the market will direct where to focus on and right now that seems to be more netbooks and laptops. Millions want that type of functionalilty but just dream of having it in their pocket and so far not one device provides that.

  72. TareX says:

    Note that Android and Windows CE are currently being adopted as a netbook OS…

  73. Al says:

    I agree that trying to add a phone is not an answer at all. Remember the devices called smart phones? they have instant on and work well for low end phone/pda use. UMPC’s key diffentiation and attraction is that they are full PC’s so that real business work could be done on them. But the key problem is that real computer work IS NOT productive nor desired if all you provide in the UMPC is a pen input or slider with thumb keys. The only way UMPC’s can provide the right input needed for full PC use is a touch type keyboard.

    A touch type keyboard can still be pocket size. The perfect design to model from is the old Psion 5mx clamshell. It was only 3.6″ x 6.9″ in size yet with it’s unique keyboard it provided very good touch type keyboard input. Most business suit inside jacket pockets can actually handle a UMPC a bit larger than that of the Psion 5mx, most of those pockets can take about a maximum of a 7.5″ x 4.25″ device with a height no larger than say 1.25″. If companies used the Psion 5mx as a starting point and enabled it to be even a slight bit larger a truly easy to touch type UMPC could be created.

    That would be a huge seller for the millions of business people on the road whom want a pocket laptop.

  74. Okonomi says:

    The only problem being the Psion coulnd be used without a tabletop surface. In my opinion, ultramobile means you can use it regardless of location.

    But judging from the size you mentionned, the Eking i1 fits your bill as a perfect UMPC? Its 7.5″ x 3.2″ x 1.2″, its got a physical keyboard, mousepad AND touchscreen.

  75. Al says:

    Well you may want ultra mobile to be used when standing but there are plenty of those type of devices and people are not buying them in big numbers. To me remember we are talking about a full PC OS and software. How many times to you want to walk and do business applications, word, etc.? The type of functions most would want to do while walking or standing are just simple PDA things not a full PC. Thus a Psion 5mx type design to me would really provide what most want which is a laptop device they can carry every where. I owned a Psion 5mx and it was able to be used when standing decently but I rarely used it that way; I used it more on a flat surface or on my lap, etc. and that is where the real market for a UMPC lies.

    Yes the EKing i1 will fit in a jacket pocket, BUT is does not have a touch type keyboard. Touch type is what most people want when using full Windows not a thumb type keyboard. Thus it DOES NOT fit the bill. Most business people like marketing reps, sales managers, sales reps, account manager, executives, etc. need a full PC computer that they can touch type on but many of those value mobility over the large screen and would love to buy something the size of the Eking i1 but only if it had a touch type keyboard.

  76. WouterK says:

    Dont change a good name/brand please.. I love UMPC PORTAL as a brand!

  77. Chippy says:

    Thanks.

    I’ve spent a lot of time reading through these comments again and i’m not 99% sure that UMPCPortal stays now.
    I am looking to tie a number of my projects together under one community and maybe include other sites like JKKMobile too. A common social network is being testing under MeetMobility.com right now.

    Steve

  78. S.C. illiterate says:

    I am missing here on this website some voting feature, where we can “build” by our votes UMPC or whatever device we want.(e.g. screen size, thumb keyboard yes/no clamshell yes/no etc…) We customers can here give to the industry laeders clear signal which features should such devices to have and what at least part of the market really need.
    Chippy, thank for Your outstandig work.
    S.C.

  79. Chippy says:

    This is so high on the list it’s nearly fallen off!

    Personaly I’ve run out of time which means finding partners. It’s funny. My todo list reads like the gdgt.com site capabilities list!

  80. Chippy says:

    One more thing on that.
    When I tie my sites together with one login for all, then I can start adding personalisation. As I mentioned earlier, we’re testing a common loging and community at MeetMobility.com. Feel from to come over and help test.

  81. Gregorian says:

    I’m generally a lurker here…
    Why not just spell it out then?
    “Ultra Mobile Computing” as a name for the place.

  82. Al says:

    As for the name I agree what about “Ultra Mobile Computing Portal”.

    The problem of UMPC is that the lack of these devices to provide a more practical pocketable full PC has created a negative image with the acronym. If you want to improve on that and try to revitalize the image and thus the demand more efforts should be made to address the needs of UMPC’s to finally just provide a touch type keyboard in a jacket size format. There are always the few whom have purchased the current UMPC’s and continue to ignore the fact that they are the minority and the real market for UMPC’s will only occur if sites like this try to influence those companies to create devices that ARE not like all of the past UMPC’s as those have all failed to attract buyers.

    Chippy, there is a huge market for a touch tpye keyboard pocket laptop and that is where you should try to let the UMPC companies be aware to develop new products. The more you just cator to the existing minority UMPC people whom think a touch type keyboard is not needed for full PC work the more this site can suffer the fate of UMPC’s.

  83. John Young says:

    Back when I was in journalism school (and dinosaurs roamed the Earth) we were taught never to use an acronym or abreviation without first spelling the name or term out in full. When I arrived at your Web site by following a few links from DPReveiw.com I had no idea what UMPC means — and you didn’t tell me! Maybe you are, at least in part, the authors of your own misfortune?

  84. Chippy says:

    Very good point John. I’m going to immediately rectify that with a ‘What is a UMPC?’ link.

  85. Monty says:

    Chippy, Thanks to you (and jkk) I am the proud owner of a Viliv S5. I too was, and still am, a daily lurker on this website. I was looking for a small PC to replace my Dell Pocked PC and I avidly followed this site waiting for the right device to fit my needs and my pocket book. The first time I heard of Viliv was here.

    One of the things I love about this website is the lively discussions in the comment section. I too found this site while researching the OQO which ultimately did not meet my needs either in battery life or price. As to form factor, everybody has a favorite. Some must have a keyboard, others like myself, would prefer that the keyboard space be filled with battery. And as to screen size… 4 to 10 seems a bit limiting since I personally would love my Viliv S5 to be stuffed into an iPhone form factor….mybe my next one…

    Which segways me to the topic of this thread. When I was a kid..a loooong time ago… my parents started a business. Above the service window was the name of the store,”SOFT Icecream Shop”. Guess what we sold. The term “UMPC” may be heading out as a market acronym, but what it stands for is Ultra Mobile Personal Computer, which is still valid, the focus of this website, and probably why you chose it in the first place. My 2-cents is that you keep the name as it is and the tag line “The Ultra Mobile Personal Computing Portal”. If you are concerned about the name and decide to change it, then “UltraMobilePCPortal.com” gets my vote. Same name, no marketing search term, says exactly what this site is about.

  86. ssagg says:

    I´m with Monty
    I´m not convinced with “Smart, mobile and internet connected” as it´s not the spirit of this site. It´s about UMPC´s (and a little about MIDs and netbooks even if I don´t sympatize with most of the last ones) and today even a PSP can be smart, mobile and internet connected.
    BTW, I always thinked we are all (teh UMPCPortal readers) part of a Karass and that UMPCs are our wampeter (or at least this is what the good old Kurt would have thought). Does anybody else fell the same (or at least knows what I´m talking about?)

  87. Chippy says:

    I know what you’re saying. That’s more of a tagline for MIDs.

    I’ve dropped it!

    Steve

  88. Schugy says:

    No action required.
    We UMPC fans now visit mobilx, dynamism, trendsmobile and so on directly and our search terms are Everun, Viliv, Aigo and others.
    Often one of the top search results is umpcportal.
    Do we really need to change anything?

  89. Flaxs says:

    Changing the name will not stop the decline of UMPC popularity but it could enable the site to migrate as conditions change. If you really want to change the decline then this site needs to influence the UMPC market to build better UMPC’s. As stated by others the real problems stem from these ultra mobile computers not providing a keyboard and being small enough to carry everywhere. Ranting about the name will not change the decline but focusing on the true problem will.

  90. Chippy says:

    My near-final decision. (feel free to comment)

    UMPCPortal.com stays.

    Logo will include the words ‘ultra mobile’

    I’ll have the logo redesigned in line with the one used at MIDMoves.com

    I won’t use the ‘smart, mobile and internet-connected’ tagline here (will use a simpler ‘ultra mobile personal computing’ tagline on the page titles only.)

    I will highlight a ‘what is a UMPC’ link on the front page.

    I will continue testing the social networking software over at Meet:mobility with a view to typing MIDmOves, Meetmobility, UMPCportal, solar-umpc and some other sites (maybe jkkmobile if he’s interested) together with a common community.

    I may migrate the forums underneath Meet Mobility (with a duplicate here) which will tie in with the social networking software and allow me to drop the old forum software i’m using on umpcportal.com (important)

    From that point on we will have a unified login system for all sites, forum and social networking which then allows me to add personalisation features to the sites.

    I thank you all for the really helpful feedback and discussion. It was fantastic to see so much detailed response.

    Steve / Chippy

  91. Russ says:

    Sounds great.

    Gotta think about what you can say to a layperson who thinks in terms of “an iPhone” “a blackberry” and maybe “a smartphone” (and that’s about it).

    Probably the best thing you can do is keep the name, but maybe try out alternate names like a “smartbook”

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