Microsoft's Origami Buzz

To say there's been buzz about Microsoft's "Origami" project would be an understatement. But after an effective viral marketing campaign, leaked photos and weeks of speculation, the product is finally on display.

Code-named Origami, the new Microsoft handheld is about the size of a paper-back book and is a hybrid between a laptop PC and other mobile devices. Weighing less than a kilogram, the device has a seven inch touch screen, is one inch thick, uses Intel microprocessors and runs a modified version of Windows XP Tablet PC edition.

Origami is Microsoft's first step towards the belief that ultra mobile PCs will eventually become ubiquitous. This device will function as a handheld organizer, MP3 player, mobile television receiver, games device and notebook PC.

For weeks prior to the product announcement last Thursday at CeBIT in Germany, rumours circulated about Microsoft developing an "ultra portable PC" with video, gaming and music capabilities in addition to basic Windows functionality.

When a video of the project appeared on the Digital Kitchen website, the internet buzz went crazy. Microsoft later claimed the video to be over a year old and that it represented only initial exploration into the device, including possible uses. Meanwhile, a cryptic Microsoft website (http://www.origamiproject.com/) fueled speculation by displaying messages like "touch me", "I am anywhere you are" and "who am I?" finally ending with "find out 3.9.06

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