Origami: Buzz Killer?

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Ignoring the fact that the just revealed Origami platform is indeed a small, electronic device, thereby forcing a compulsory moment of craving, we are thoroughly surprised at how accurately Microsoft and Intel have targeted a segment of the computing market completely barren of potential customers.

Robert Scoble attempted some sort of preemptive spin yesterday, walking through the categories of 'device killers' that the Origami was not. (Scoble said—to quickly sum up—that the Origami was not an iPod, OQO, PSP, Nokia N90, Treo 700w, or Palm killer, nor was it a portable Xbox.)


Clearly, the Origami is an OQO killer, at least by design. Both devices are pocket-sized computers that run full-blown version of Windows XP, including Tablet PC Edition. (Although the OQO has a built-in keyboard, while the first Origami models do not.) Perhaps Scoble meant "larger and less convenient than an OQO, which would prevent it from killing the device."

More baffled reactions which we anticipate regretting once Apple decides to use this as a Newton revival platform after the jump.

As for everything else, well, it's too big to replace PDAs and smartphones—although we can certainly see a day in the near future when full-blown PC operating systems might supplant PDA-specific OSes—and it's actually less convenient a form factor than a sub-notebook. We're just not buying that a device with a 7-inch screen and a separate keyboard is going to be worth lugging around in a bag when our smartphones already give us mobile email and basic web browsing. And if this is supposed to replace our laptops, why such a funky form factor? How are we supposed to use the Origami models when typing with a Bluetooth keyboard? Even the two-year prototype with a built-in keyboard looks awkward.

The real news here is probably that Microsoft has developed a version of Windows XP (the 'Origami' name comes from Microsoft's work, we gather) that works with the new Intel hardware to provide long battery life. That sounds great, guys. Could we get that in a laptop?


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