At the Intel Developer’s Conference today, Intel CEO Paul Otellini disclosed plans to create a need breed of hardware that will run the latest Microsoft PC operating system, Vista. Intel is referring to this new class of device as “Handtop PCs,” which are essentially current-day PDAs with more power. The idea is not unlike what micro-laptop makers like OQO are shooting for.
Otellini also announced that forthcoming lower-power products will lead to a new category of ultra energy-efficient “Handtop PC” devices that provide a converged communication and PC-like experience but require less than a watt of processing power and weigh under a pound.
The end goal is to create high-power processors that consume .5 watts or less. These PDA-like devices would be larger than current PDAs, but smaller than micro-notebooks. When Intel is able to create concept devices with that much juice, they’ll be able to forego watered-down mobile operating systems, jumping directly to Windows Vista, the next generation operating system that will be replacing Windows XP in the next few months.
While it will take several years to see how this announcement plays out, it does reiterate a consistent theme of pushing more power into smaller devices. Ultimately the “PDA” lifespan is going to be challenged, to be replaced by new types of mobile computing devices.