Monday, March 13, 2006


Origami great product shame about the hype

If you missed all the hype surrounding Microsoft's new Origami Ultra Mobile PC platform consider yourself lucky. In some ways it was the ultimate buzz marketing... drip feed small amounts of information to the market, create an excitement around the launch. The only issue was that some of the technology bloggers got carried away with wild speculation about the forthcoming features to such an extent that no matter what Microsoft finally released it was never going to meet the expectations.

Indeed once the devices were finally shown at ceBit they were met with a general cry of is that all. IS THAT ALL!

The problem here is that the Origami/UMPC platform is not overly innovative in itself but, and its a huge BUT, what it can be applied to could be highly innovative.

So what is it. Basically its a pc about the size of a large format paperback book. It has a touchscreen interface and, although it can have one, in the present releases no keyboard. There is however a very effective on screen keyboard. Its beauty is that it runs a full version of Windows XP. This means that any application written for a normal PC can run on it as long as it will fit the screen resolution.

As Bill Gates (Sir) is always telling us the Magic of Software allows for virtually anything. This is an open platform in a market space that has normally been closed meaning we should see a whole host of innovations:-

Car computer anyone? Reasonably low cost wall mounted home automation controller. Home Internet Browsing client. Easy to carry Survey collection client - indeed I can announce that Whittaker Moore Associates will be supporting the Origami platform with our myLeads product.

There are endless posibilites for this.

Of course being a version one device there are a few issues at present. Battery life is limited to two hours (but laptop fuel cells are just around the corner and will solve that) Price is higher than they will finally be (currently around 1000 us$ expect more like 500 in future)but that will change.

Origami its much more than just paper folding.

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