Microsoft Corp.'s much ballyhooed ultra-mobile PC is more promise than real, as the technology needed to deliver the device envisioned by the software giant is at least two years away, a research firm said.
In a recent analysis, Gartner Inc. said the device scheduled to ship in the second quarter is more of a "tweener" gadget that's too big to be a personal digital assistant, or PDA, and too small to be a useful notebook.
For future models of the UMPC to match Microsoft's hype of a "lifestyle computer," a new category of device, a number of factors need to fall into place, some of which is not technologically possible today.
For one, the 2-pound computer with a 7-inch touch screen will need an eight-hour battery and a sub-$400 price, both of which are at least two years away, Gartner said. Current pricing is in the $799-to-$999 range.
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