The Things I Learned at Mobile World Congress 2014.

Updated on 12 September 2018 by

CMYK_White_VerWith a focus on mobile computing I attended my 6th Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. I wasn’t just there to look at products though because my focus was on assessing trends and trying to work out how those trends might impact the pro-mobile computing market that we cover here.  Here’s a list of take-aways and notes from Barcelona.

Things I learned from MWC2014, in no particular order.

  1. Expensive and powerful phones don’t have to be expensive any more. There’s some impressive stuff coming out of China.
  2. Don’t buy dedicated fitness bands because they will be in smart watches in two years and will be better integrated with phones and software.
  3. Internet of Things is huger than huge but it’s going to be a messy land-grab. Standards are lacking.
  4. Now that Amazon and Nokia/Microsoft have good Android and service builds (maps, music, app stores etc.) Google are probably worried.
  5. Dual-OS (Android/Windows) laptops will appear later this year, possibly without Google on-board. OHA will explode (possibly.)
  6. The ‘maker’ community is extremely important to the Internet of Things sector and therefore will get huge sponsorship over the next 5-10 years. This is great for education because ‘maker’ touches mathematics, sciences, engineering, health and other skills. Your kids education could benefit from this sponsorship but be careful that brands aren’t trying to brainwash the kids.
  7. Personal information security is getting easier and much cheaper.
  8. Your movement, environment and health data is very, very valuable to companies. Be aware of that.
  9. Internet of Things products will drive huge growth in the app market. (control and reporting software)
  10. Bathtime will be more fun soon with the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet.


Top three ultra-mobile computing topics of MWC for me were…

  • Dual-OS (including Android as laptop and non-Google Android,) More detail on Dual-OS here.
  • Windows Phone/Desktop store unification (and possible more) within 18 months.  (changing the economics of developing for Windows.)
  • Microsoft are getting on-board with Android through the self-built Trojan Horse that is Nokia X.


Most important thing for ultra-mobile professional computing fans to consider in 2014: There will be no major change in CPU or OS. If you need a ultra mobile PC now, don’t wait. For the subnotebook market, we could see some interesting Dual-OS 2-in-1 solutions.


My favorite product of MWC 2014: HP Elitepad 1000 2G. (2nd: Dell Venue 11 Pro on Baytrail-T.) Video here and here.


Things I’m planning to do as a result of MWC 2014.

  • Increase focus on Dual-OS (which implies more coverage of Android topics.)
  • Increase security coverage. (Big article coming up soon.)
  • Buy an Elitepad 1000 2G with rugged keyboard expansion case


Intel Software sponsored my visit to Mobile World Congress and during one Intel-focused session I was introduced to their XDK product (HTML5 development environment.)  Now I could tell you that if you’re interested in HTML5 development and cross-platform application deployment you should check it out but I won’t because I’m personally interested in using it myself to re-develop the front-end for the product database here on UMPCPortal so if you’re interested in HTML5 we can have a more detailed conversation about it soon. Stay tuned.

Thanks to Intel who sponsored my trip to MWC2014.

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6 Comments For This Post

  1. me says:

    For the dual OS thing, I hope you don’t forget about the dual mobile/desktop UI concept. Microsoft seemed to have made it a big topic. For notebooks and desktops it may not be useful and hence the complaints about Windows 8. However, for UMPCs, this is a major update. You have the touch friendly modern UI for standing/mobile use and the desktop UI for docked office use. The desktop UI also has touch/stylus enhancements over Windows 7 for those mobile moments you need a desktop app. Dual OS with Android and Windows is similar but the integration between them will definitely not be great. Plus, I don’t personally have any must have Android apps. They’re all just apps that already have alternatives (often times better) on Windows and desktop Linux.

    Now, Canonical is also going for this concept. They’re also integrating phone functionality so all you need is 1 device for a smartphone, UMPC and desktop. I like Canonical’s approach where the core code under both UIs are supposedly 95% the same. I haven’t gotten any answers yet of it being specifically blocked but it’d be technically possible to run desktop apps during mobile mode. I hope they allow this like Windows 8. Since it’s essentially the same core Linux distro, I can run all the same utilities and scripts I normally run on a Linux desktop. I’m biased more towards this solution over Windows because I run Linux as my primary OS.

    With ARM SoCs getting more powerful and Intel ones becoming more competitive in power consumption and embedded features while sacrificing performance less, I think the whole 1 device for everything will eventually come. At least that’s my hope.

  2. tartar says:

    I’m really hoping the Ubuntu Phone/Desktop hybrid succeeds. I really like Windows 8 from a UMPC point of view but I still prefer to use a desktop Linux system. If not, I can resort to Cygwin for most of the Linuxy things and a virtual machine for the rest. It’s not ideal though. Of course, if it’s not an OQO slider form factor, I’d still require a stowable active digitizer pen or a thumb bezel mouse.

  3. Chippy says:

    Naturally i’m still covering small single-OS products but I can add also one thing to that. I have half an eye on the developing unification of Windows phone and desktop stores and have heard a few rumors that Threshold will go beyond that by offering a phone-to-desktop interface. Essentially RT and W8P would merge, as rumors have suggested, but it might extend to a single Windows 9 OS for phone, tablet and desktop. We’ll have to wait and see what happens at BUILD.

  4. tartar says:

    You mention the Internet of Things, security and companies wanting to know everything about you. I’m somewhat paranoid but that always conflicts with me wanting to use technology. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll have more control over what information I give and which companies have it than today. Also, those companies I choose should use good updated security practices.

    Kind of reminds of that Apple iOS and Mac OS X SSL flaw where they didn’t properly verify SSL certificates causing people’s HTTPS connections to be vulnerable. Certificate verification is such a basic step and one of the first things you learn when working with SSL.

  5. Chippy says:

    I have a big WIndows 8 security article going out in the next day or so. Keep an eye out for it.

  6. me says:

    Can you elaborate on 1, 7 and 8?

    What is OHA?

    Is there something new about the Dell V11P you saw at MWC??

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