'Botched Marketing' Or Just A Product Nobody Wants?
from the not-interested dept
Microsoft created a lot of buzz earlier this year with its mysterious marketing for something called The Origami Project, which turned out to be a type of device called the Ultra Mobile PC, basically a tiny tablet computer. The idea’s been tried before without much success, and accordingly, most people didn’t care. Now, an article is extolling the virtues of the UMPC and blaming a lack of interest on Microsoft’s botched marketing. The author claims, essentially, that the UMPC is a fantastic device with all sorts of wonderful uses. However, most of the uses he cites (checking email in line at Starbucks, checking email between meetings, running remote desktop sessions during his kids’ sports games, working from home) seem to be the interrupt-your-life-with-work variety rather than the use-technology-to-improve-your-life kind. The only advantage he can cite over a PDA or smartphone is a larger screen and the ability to run Windows XP, which gets to the heart of the “problem” with the UMPC: does it offer features that many people really care about? Between smartphones and laptops, the mobile computing market is fairly well covered, with niche devices like portable video players filling things out. Throw in other attractive UMPC features like a short, two- to three-hour battery life and a high price tag, and it’s clear that the problem isn’t marketing; it’s that the UMPC simply isn’t very attractive to a wide group of consumers. That’s something that marketing won’t change, as Microsoft is discovering with the Zune.