Maybe it's a bit early to call the UMPC some sort of failure, but with the prices as they are, and the current usability so lacking, we're not really thinking Microsoft and company hit much of a home run here. Now they're promising a followup in a few years, called the Haiku, which has been in the works for a while but finally is starting to look feasible with small and not-so-power-hungry components in the works. Microsoft mentioned Via's mobile processing road map specifically, and LCD tech is clearly advancing to a point where a 7-inch display isn't as much of a burden on a handheld form factor. Turns out the Haiku is going to look a lot like what Microsoft was demoing at WinHEC back in 2005, which was quite sexier than what we've seen so far from this generation of UMPCs. Unfortunately, we're scared that we'll get burned on pricing once again, since according to Otto Berkes, Microsoft's general manager of UMPC ops, "We'd like to see them out in the $500 to $700 range. The closer to $500 the better." Hmm, that sounds rather familiar, doesn't it?

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Microsoft promises "Haiku" PC as penance for UMPC