There was a time when basically all Jenn covered on Pocketables were devices like the one you see above. But then companies started to move towards smartphones, and eventually, MIDs and UMPCs simply left the mainstream.
But today, Microsoft gave a small preview of Windows 8, set to launch sometime in 2012. The feature I'm sure the entire Pocketables staff is most excited about is the ability for Windows 8 to run on ARM processors. A new architecture is great and all, but what will this mean for form factors? Let's take a quick look at what's currently happening in the desktop market and how this may, indeed, translate into a rebirth of. . . pocketable computers once again.
I'm a huge fan of traditional desktop and laptop computers, and an even bigger fan of smartphones and tablets. So naturally, I follow both realms really closely. And although I'm a Mac user, I'm definitely intrigued by the thought of Windows 8 being able to run on much smaller form factors than it can right now. Intel's Atom processors and AMD's Fusion APUs are great, sure, but they're getting outdated, and usually, they're targeted towards netbooks.
With ARM processors, Microsoft and its partners can target a whole new demographic of users who need mobile devices that they can easily fit into their pockets, but are still capable of running a full Windows desktop. Maybe "new demographic" isn't the term to put here; it's been here all along, really. It's just that it's kind of been forgotten up until now. I'm sure that many of you can only dream of the kinds of devices that will come out of this new feature of Windows 8, and so can I. We'll just have to wait until next year to see what actually does come of it.
By the way, are you excited with the possibility of MIDs and UMPCs coming back? Or do you think they simply aren't as usable as today's smartphones and tablets? Let me know in the comments.