Origami - Microsofts Answer to Ipod Technology

By: Emily Sanderson

Microsoft recently introduced its latest project - The Origami. I know, I know..origami is the ancient art of paper folding. So what has this name got to do with Microsoft latest component? Nothing - so it is being changed to Ultramobile PC. It seems that after a lengthy period of guessing, advertising, and speculating, their newest innovation is a portable computing device capable of running Windows XP and other Windows software.

Origami is a combination of advanced media and computer technology that avails both laptop and portable media player abilities and has the potential to become quite a unique option for consumers with its slim, small, notebook appearance - without an accompanying keyboard.It is ultra compact with a touch screen and wireless connectivity. Its sensitive screen responds readily to a tap of the finger or a stylus. Spring will bring two models of Origami - named Ultramobile PC to the market weighing about 2 ? pounds, an inch or so thick, and being about the size of a large book. Plans are for Ultramobile PC to run a full version of Windows XP and newly developed software for the touchscreen function. Microsoft announced that the Ultramobile PC creates new possibilities for personal computer use. The hardware, developed but not manufactured by Microsoft, has had input in both the design and manufacture of software from its inception. The key concept is to combine the best of Windows Pc and wireless electronic media devices. The screen is wide with easy to see characters and bright enough for good acuity even in dimly lit surroundings. This new device will also have 2 USB ports enabling it to be connected to an outlet if necessary and other features of jacks for connecting digital cameras, headphones, speakers, and card slots. It also has a feature of a builtin onscreen split keyboard that allows input to be typed or 'fingered' in. It has a 60 GB capacity with a battery average of 2 to 3 hours. This device is ideal for commuters and others on the go who want to use their PC but don't want to carry heavy and awkward equipment. Although it is a bit larger than an Ipod or a MP3 player, it does play stored music and display photos and acts as a video device showing films and television shows.

One wonders, though, whether Microsoft really thought through their marketing plan because at present, Ultramobile PC appears to be another, somewhat larger, version of Ipod, PDA, and other popular devices. Many media reporters and technophiles believe this project to be less than compelling. One expressed opinion was that while it is not small enough to be considered a pocket device, it is small enough to be kept close and is empowered to perform a variety of tasks - games, productivity, and media consumption - a combination of Playstation gaming, PC, and Ipod. This new wonder is expected to retail for between $600 to $1000.

Research and development continue in these areas, and consumers are sure to be seeing more and more useful software for improving the uses and functions of the Ultramobile PC - the Origami.

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