Rumors: Origami Just a Glorified Media Player with Nasty DRM?

In the comments for yesterday's Origami revealed post, strangeweather said:

Two things this form factor is perfect for:

1. A portable movie player — it's about the same form factor as a portable DVD player, only you can rip a bunch of DVDs and store them all on board.

2. A web surfing device. As WiFi and other wireless platforms get increasingly ubiquitous, you'll be able to carry around one of these suckers and look up anything online, wherever you're at. The screens on PDAs are a little too small to be good at this, phones are worse, and conventional lightweight notebooks are utterly useless for something like this.

So yeah, minitablet, minischmablet—Origami sounds like a glorified media player to us. So it's got Microsoft's imprimatur on it; big whoop, right? One of our readers wrote us this morning, a long-time very senior industry insider who felt compelled to point out that:

THE MAIN USE OF THIS DEVICE IS A DRM MEDIA PLAYER!

All other PC functions are bonus.

This is why VIIV is being used and previously advertised.

More on how Viiv is horrible and why you should care after the jump.

Viiv in a nutshell, from its Wikipedia entry:

"It is intended for primary use as a media platform or to play DRM-protected content created by one. Media recorded by an Intel VIIV processor is locked to the processor and may only be played by an authorized VIIV processor."

Locked to the processor? Only be played by an authorized processor? Nasty! You'd think Microsoft would know better because Research Group invited EFF/BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow over to give a talk in 2004. The gist of what he told them:

1. That DRM systems don't work

2. That DRM systems are bad for society

3. That DRM systems are bad for business

4. That DRM systems are bad for artists

5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT

Either none of the Research Group's many brilliant people was paying attention, or the media cartels really just don't care. Guess which one we're going with.

Origami Revealed: It s a 7-Inch Tablet PC Platform [Gizmodo]
DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote [ZDNet]
Intel Viiv is stupid and broken [the Inquirer]
Viiv Off to a Slow Start [Gizmodo]