Microsoft Corp.’s much-anticipated next-generation mobile computer made its debut Thursday, and the software giant has already lined up entertainment partners including movie-download provider Movielink LLC (www.movielink.com) and TV-on-the-go provider Sling Media Inc. to funnel video content into the device.
Making its debut at the CeBIT European electronics show in Hanover, Germany, the “Ultra Mobile PC” should be available from several electronics manufacturers starting in the second quarter.
Designs will vary by manufacturer, but the Mobile PC device will sport a seven-inch touch screen that includes a keyboard display, a “Windows XP” operating system with Internet-browsing capability and options for wireless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wired Ethernet connections. It will retail from $599-$999.
On the content side, Movielink will supply its branded video content to the Ultra Mobile PC, allowing users to download movies directly to the device via wireless or wired connections.
"Since the Internet has proven to be ideally suited for portability and a significant amount of Movielink's downloads are already for portable use in notebooks, we believe the new UMPC platform will be a catalyst for portable video consumption," said Sean Besser, Movielink’s director of business development.
Movielink is a joint venture between film studios Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.
Users will also have access to live television content through a custom version of Sling Media TV software. The creator of “SlingPlayer” -- a software and TV-adaptor-device combination that gives users the ability to watch and control their home TV systems via a remote computer -- has created a custom version that works on the Ultra Mobile PC.
"Consumers are looking for differentiated, highly mobile product solutions as part of the digital lifestyle, and the combination of ‘Slingbox’ and Ultra Mobile PC delivers a portable and affordable solution to meet their entertainment needs,” said Blake Krikorian, cofounder and CEO of Sling Media.