Microsoft has a page titled “How to Buy an Ultra-Mobile PC“. What can you find there? Nothing! This page has been up since the UMPC was “Launched”, but there still is no solid info about when the various devices will ship, or even when or where they can be ordered.
(image from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/umpc/howtobuy.mspx modified in parody)
If Apple had launched the UMPC, the end of Steve Jobs’ speech would have included “And you can buy them right now at our online store, and in our retail stores across the country.” Now I realize the it’s the OEM’s that control the release dates, but Microsoft and the OEMs lost out big time on the enthusiasm that surrounded this launch. Even if the devices won’t ship until April, letting folks preorder starting on the day of the launch would have allowed them to feel involved.
Right now, all of the folks who are the most enthusiastic about these new devices are also the most frustrated.