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UMPC, MID Alphabet Soup

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on April 18, 2007

Geez, I was just getting used to the unwieldy moniker UMPC for “ultra-mobile personal computers,” and now Intel has gone and ruined it.
The chipmaker at its spring developer forum in Beijing couldn’t leave well enough alone and seems to be expanding the category to include MIDs, or “mobile internet devices.”
What does it all mean? The big gorilla of the pc industry seems to be hoping that its failure to break into the cell phone market can be overcome by developing energy-sipping chips that power handhelds with screen sizes of 3 inches to 7 inches that have always-on connections to the Internet.
Now the trick will be convincing people when such devices roll out next year that in addition to paying for a cell phone and notebook pc, they should shell out another $500 to $2,000 for a MID or UMPC that can do much the same thing.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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