Qualcomm says Windows Mobile 7 key for mini-laptops

Mobile phone chip makers hope Windows Mobile 7 will help them win market share in mini-laptops

Mobile phone chip giant Qualcomm on Monday showed off a mini-laptop that could cost around US$299 and offer quick wireless access to the Internet via 3G (third generation) mobile telecommunications networks.

The laptop, made by Taiwan's Inventec, is small and streamlined because the low-power chips inside don't need much space to disperse heat. But it runs on a Linux OS, which is less familiar to most people than Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft Windows Mobile 7, which is made for chips used in mobile phones, will be more laptop friendly than older versions of Windows Mobile, said Luis Pineda, senior vice president at Qualcomm, on the sidelines of a news conference in Taipei.

Windows Mobile 7 could be a key for the mobile phone industry in the future if they hope to take a bite out of the growing market for mini-notebooks such as the Eee PC that have 7-inch to 10-inch screens, weigh less than 1 kilogram and connect wirelessly to the Internet.

The Eee PC is based on chips made by Intel, and runs PC programs such as the Windows XP OS and Microsoft Office. Asus also sells a version loaded with a Linux operating system and other open-source software.

Mobile phone industry chips can't run programs designed for PCs because of the difference in PC processors versus mobile phone processors, so Microsoft years ago created Windows Mobile to get its software into handsets.

Qualcomm hopes Windows Mobile 7 will make its Snapdragon chipsets a more vital competitor in mini-laptops as it takes on PC processor makers Intel, AMD and Via. The Qualcomm chipsets come with 1GHz Arm processing cores and Qualcomm technology to connect mini-laptops and other gadgets to 3G mobile phone networks.

One advantage for mobile phone chip makers is that they have worked from the start to create low power products that give off little heat, because mobile phones are small and people want handsets with long battery life. Now that they're moving into bigger products like laptop PCs, the advantages become clearer in longer battery life and more streamlined designs -- since they don't have to include heat sinks for hot-running chips.

Companies that make chips for PCs paid little attention to power consumption in the past because desktops plugged into walls. There was lots of space inside a desktop and no battery. Over the past several years, however, they have worked hard to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation in chips aimed at laptops.

Qualcomm was not immediately able to say how long the battery in the Inventec laptop might last. The product is not available yet, but similar products could be out by the end of this year, said Pineda.

Snapdragon is already being used in the development of around 20 products, including personal navigation devices from Mio Technology, as well as products from High Tech Computer (HTC) and Samsung Electronics, he said.

"You'll see a big presence in Snapdragon-based devices at CES 2009," he said, referring to the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which will be held January 8-11 next year.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?