Un-Origami

Update: My report on Microsoft Origami just went up. Here is just a tiny sample.“This is yet another failed attempt to jam everything into one device,” says Pip Coburn, technology strategist with Coburn Ventures, a New York-based investment advisory firm. “The way I see it, they don’t really know what they want it to be.” Full Story is here.

So finally Microsoft Origami (or what it would be) has been brought to light…. and my first reaction, for crying out loud, yet another digital device?

It is supposed to be the Swiss army knife of digital life, if you believe what you see in Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble’s video. If you read Michael Gartenberg hands on review, you will soon be running off to the nearest store wildly waving your credit card yelling take my money, and give me Origami.


What none of the folks who are writing about the device today address is the bigger issue: since it is an ultra portable PC based on Windows XP, how secure is it? What is the “re-boot” time? How much resources it would need and how long is the battery life. Of course the price point is even more worrisome: at $599 to $999, it is still too expensive for an occasional use device. So here is a question: will equipment makers sacrifice the margins on their thin-and-light notebooks, for Origami? After all, from the video you learn, that Origami does it all, and well, a $600 desktop at home should do the trick in tandem with Origami.

Origami, from what ever I have read, seems will be made by partners, so pretty sure, design innovation and services integration will be sub-par, much like most Microsoft Windows Media-based music players. Engadget has some photos, and from the looks of it, the device is not as sleek as it seems. It looks thick and unwieldy. I am feeling a tad underwhelmed by the ones I see (pics, I admit) online.

My view on any new digital and mobile device is that – both Microsoft and Intel – should stop thinking Windows and try developing a new platform. In other words, think different. Look even Steve “OS-X or nothing” Jobs had to go get another OS platform to get the iPod done. Imagine, the mess a OS-X Inside iPod would be. Microsoft has a product precedent – XBox 360, which does things very well, because it is not hampered by the Windows legacy. New thinking … but then that’s too much to ask from old companies.

PS: Does anyone else feel that Sony, the great consumer electronics company of the past, muffed an opportunity with PSP by not including a hard drive? I love the device, hate the lack of capacity!

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