Word is trickling out that Microsoft has treated attendees at its Mobile Platform Division partner briefing to its vision of the next generation of "ultraportable lifestyle PCs." According to at least one report, Bill Mitchell, Corporate Vice President of the Mobile Platform Division, showed a slide that outlined specs for the new PC category, including that it be wearable, always on, no larger than 10-inches, connected through 3G networks, pen-based, and have a suggested retail price of $500 or less. Sounds like something of a cross between Windows Mobile smartphones and tablet PCs (sort of like the Ruby concept PC, pictured) -- or a rehash of the long-forgotten Windows CE-based "Jupiter" laptop platform, which didn't exactly take the world by storm. One notable spec that could differentiate this one: Microsoft is apparently insisting that this run the full version of Windows. If the company really succeeds in that endeavor, this could be a hit; if not, we'll get one to keep in the basement, next to our Clio.

DTV bill already causes doom and gloom