Posted by: ilanasmith | March 2, 2006

The Japanese Art of Paper-Folding

There is much speculative discussion going on at the moment about the "Origami Project".  The cryptic web-site and the "leaked" advertising video indicate that next week at CeBit, Microsoft will be announcing a new kind of device.  Sized between a PocketPC and a TabletPC at about the size of a notebook (as in a pad of paper…I can’t believe I’m geeky enough to clarify that), it’s apparently going to run a full version of Windows.
At this point, I’m intrigued and definitely interested.  I was initially disappointed with the size as I was expecting more of an iPod competitor, but I’m really beginning to see the usefulness of the form factor.  The PocketPC is really too small to be used as a quasi-primary device, and TabletPCs can be too large and clunky, with limited battery.  (Yes, I’ll admit, I’m most attracted by the Origami device’s rumoured eight hour battery life – as anyone who has ever called my mobile phone will know, I have a mental block when it comes to charging things.)
Without much in the way of firm details, some of the press coverage is intriguing.  My absolute favourite so far is PC World’s coverage: one analyst indicated that he (I’m guessing) believes that the device "will be a niche product, appealing to women rather than a large audience".  (Maybe because we have handbags in which to shove the thing.  Dude obviously hasn’t seen Alex’s man-bag, chockful of gadgets.)
52% of the population now constitutes a niche.  This reminds me of standing grinning in Larry’s because I’d discovered all the Australian-made products in the "Ethnic" section.

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