At last–truly portable computing power

Imagine being able to carry around your computer to research sessions, meetings, seminars, etc. with little more effort than carrying a book. No cords, no heaving heavy stuff around. Well, Bill Gates has been listening (and maybe getting tired of carrying his own heavy computer around).

Microsoft is working on an ultra-thin Tablet, in the $800 price range (current code name Ultra Mobile 2007) that will weigh about a pound and would have an all-day battery life. What’s not to like?

He’s only hedging a little (“we do believe this is achievable), and says the device will be a camera, a phone, a music device that will complement the PC.
And listen to this–they’re talking about

…a new, fixed document format, Metro, which he said will be “available free to the world.” These documents can be created on any platform and shared acoss the world. Plus, Metro-compatible printers will give a new and enhanced printing experience.

What I get out of this is that they’re coming up with a new and simplified document format that will rival the portability and universal readability of the PDF–and looks like it will require new hardwar (they’re partnering with computer manufacturer Acer). Hey, if they get it even a tad faster and easier to use (PDFs are notoriously slow to open and navigate), Adobe’s PDF could be in trouble–though Adobe’s getting aggressive about positioning itself (heck, they even recently bought Macromedia for billions of dollars).

Well anyway, Microsoft, now you’re talkin’. When you get there, a lot of us will be there. …unless, of course, someone beats you to it.