Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UMPC news from the middle-east

If you're like me then the colour of PCB will excite!!! EO UMPC

A close friend of mine from the middle-east recently shot me an article (no pun intended) regarding UMPC in Israel. Although the article is written in Hebrew he was kind enough to translate the key points for us. He tells me that the EO UMPC, albeit wearing new clothes, was spotted at the Microsoft TechED Conference held in Eilat (click on Eilat to see it on Google Earth), Israel, the city on the Red Sea – most south point in Israel. TechEd Israel was a two-day event that closed on May 11th 2006; Stephen Sinofsky, Senior Vice president of Windows and Windows live Group, Microsoft, was the keynote at this event; it certainly looks as though Mobility was the focus at the Conference (other topics were Vista).

Microsoft seems to be pushing the Ultra Mobile PC quite heavily in the consumer electronics space as that was the focus at this show. The Israeli Journalist of the article is keen to point out that: "Microsoft wants people to take their info everywhere with these devices, just like people learnt to take music with the iPOD".

Here is a picture from the show, and a link to the article (for all of my Hebrew reading audience)

Anyone want to make an "Ink Donation?" Don't ask!

A Hebrew translation of the article, copied from an email sent to me:

  • Microsoft people demonstrate the new Tablet capabilities built -in Vista.
  • Number 1 – the digital pen can now perform 8 (eight) actions that in regular computer require a mouse. High-light, delete, cut, paste and a few more action with a touch of the Pen. Work with those features can be quicker in Tablets now, however it requires some training and skills acquisition.
  • Number 2 – Hand write identification capabilities is far better now with T9 dictionary adopted from the Mobile phone space. Meaning – at the moment Microsoft running a process of collection handwrite samples in many languages. When writing on the tablet the T9 will try to guess what the writer means and complete the sentence before the writer does. Whom that tried that before in his mobile phone knows the pros and cons of this system but the fact that this is a valid option in Vista means allot more users would be able to use them efficiently simply because they are comfortable and quick with T9 already.

    [Now why this feature is extremely important for the Israeli market – because till now there was no handwrite Identification software for Tablet in Hebrew, which made Tablet obsolete in the Israeli market. It is safe to assume that this is the situation with another few non-latin based languages around the world. Now with the new systems for handwrite identification the Israeli market can hope that within a year there will be Hebrew enabled Tablet. Shmuel Yair, in charge of Localization in MS Israel, hope that by the end of the year he will be able to collect the 15,000 samples needed for creating the database.]

It's great to see that Ultra Mobile PC has made it to Israel and is doing its best to blanket the globe. It really only takes two minutes to realize how powerful these devices can be, especially if English is not your mother tongue. If you've seen someone send an email in Hebrew or Chinese you'll realize just how revolutionary Digital Ink can be. by giving people the ability to input handwritten notes in these languages and have the device, UMPC, convert these to text for them we've given them access to an extremely powerful tool.

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