Intel has officially presented the Intel Ultra Mobile Platform 2007 (formerly known as McCaslin) and announced the new Menlow architecture with Silverthorn processors for 2008. They have also given us a peek and poke over Redflag's MIDinux Linux distribution, which apparently has been designed for those mobile devices that can't decide if they want to be an iPhone or a PSP when they grow up.
But despite the obvious
ripoff interface inspiration, MIDinux is quite interesting because it marks a departure from the Microsoft-based UMPCs, of which the 7-inch HTC Shift is going to be one of the 2007 platform flagships. In fact, it opens a new category of consumer entertainment-oriented, more compact UMPC called MID (yet another acronym that means either "Mobile Internet Device" or "Those Cupertino Rascals May Be Onto Something Again—Let's Try to do the Same Before It's Too Late." Not sure which, but one of the two). More details after the jump.
UMPCs and MIDs will come from Asus, Aigo, Fujitsu, Haier, HTC and Samsung, and they will be equipped with all kinds of connectivity options, which could include Wi-Fi, Tri-band HDSPA/UMTS and your usual GSM/GPRS standards. The Menlow platform will be supported by the same players and a few others, like the Compal PSP-like UMPC prototype running Windows below.
The MIDs will come with 256MB to 512 MB of RAM, their widescreen displays ranging from 800 x 480 to 1.024 x 600 pixels and running all kinds of Linux consumer oriented applications. These will include communications (instant messaging, mail, VoIP, video conferencing and blogging), entertainment (video, TV, games, images) and Internet information access (browsing, maps, news and the like).
So as you can see, it not only looks but also sounds familiar. Apparently, rumor has it that future iterations of the iPhone will also benefit from the Menlow architecture, making them smaller and slimmer than the Mark I.