Look out Samsung, Asus, and the rest, Taiwan's HTC is getting ready to light a fire under the saggy azz of the next gen UMPC platform much as they did for Microsoft's Windows Mobile. Hey, we can dream right? In an interview with the Seattle Times, HTC says they'll be hiring a 12-person engineering team into their US offices to drive some of the highest-level industrial design work in the company. Namely, devices for new high-speed, broadband networks that "mimic miniature, long-battery-life laptops that can make phone calls." According to Todd Achilles, HTC's VP of Sales and Marketing, their "ultramobile PC could be sold as early as next year." We've already seen HTC and UMPC-friendly Via in bed together on their OnDemand media distribution technology which might lend a hint at the niche HTC will target. Regardless, with HTC's US HQ in Bellevue, just down the road from Microsoft's, we should see some tightly integrated product in the coming year. What with a Toshiba DAP dubbed the Zune, is a Microsoft branded UMPC so hard to believe?

[Via PDA 24/7]

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