Hands up who still wants a UMPC?
Probably quite a few less than this time a month ago.
Hands up who still wants to be an early adopter?
Probably even fewer still!
Now one for the non-tech enthusiasts:
Hands up who can remember what a UMPC looks like or does?
I can't help but feel that UMPCs have missed out on a huge opportunity. Not since the iPod has a device caused such a stir or garnered such mainstream media attention but we will have been waiting two months by the time devices are actually released - this doesn't necessarily mean that people will be able to get their hands on one straight away.
For all the coverage that UMPCs received at the time the one thing I can imagine a lot of people remembering will be the reporter holding up one of the Intel prototypes and saying that Intel were expecting this type of device to be out in a couple of years. Could the slow follow-up leave the average consumer thinking that UMPCs are just a concept rather than something which is to be released in a couple of weeks time?
If devices had been available at the time CeBit was running just think of the number of sales that would have resulted from all the exposure. Failing that, why not delay the announcement until the product was available to back up the hype.
Yes, Microsoft, Intel and the OEMs wanted to piggy back CeBit's popularity in order to create a buzz about the form factor but doing so at the expense of a delay in getting the product out could have been potentially more damaging than not appearing at CeBit.