Intel and Microsoft on Thursday announced the first three devices developed around the new ultramobile PC form factor they teamed up to develop over a year ago in a project code-named Origami.
Unveiling the inner workings of the project, the companies said Microsoft fine-tuned its Windows XP Tablet edition for the new style of device, while Intel focused on the hardware. However, Intel did not specifically produce a new microprocessor for the ultramobile PC.
One of Samsung's Origami devices carries a 900MHz Intel Celeron M microprocessor, a product meant for mobile devices but not specifically for the ultramobile PC.
Intel plans to work to increase the performance of the microprocessors inside the device by a factor of ten, including lowering power consumption and heat, within the next few years, said Christian Morales, a vice president of sales and marketing for Intel, speaking at CeBit.
Microsoft spent over a year and a half working on the specialised ultramobile OS, a company representative said, ensuring it would enable touchscreen work, as include support for buttons on the right and left sides of the ultramobile's screen. The OS also retains capabilities already built into the tablet edition of Windows, such as the ability to take notes right on the screen.
"You can count on the continued partnership of Microsoft and Intel to bring together thousands of developers to work on this category," said Bill Mitchell, vice president of mobile platforms at Microsoft, also speaking at the show.
Three product makers showed off their ultramobile devices at the Intel-Microsoft presentation: Samsung, Asustek and a company tied to China's Founder Group.
There appears to be great flexibility in the kinds of functions companies can add to the devices. They are meant to be used as work and play devices, with video and internet functions supported by wireless connections standard in each device, WLAN (wireless LAN), 802.11 A/G and Bluetooth. But the ultramobiles will also support 3G (third generation) wireless networks if a product developer wants to add that capability, Intel said.
In addition, companies appear to be able to add features to make their devices unique. The Asustek device, for example, has a 1.3 megapixel camera on board, while the other two did not appear to have any sort of picture capturing ability.