Microsoft Origami…what is it?

Microsoft is building some buzz around something called “Origami”. There is a lot of speculation regarding exactly what “Origami” is, including a complete website trying to gather all the information in one place. And at least one guy is writing poetry about the damn thing.

I’m late to the party- really, I don’t know much at all. From skimming the various sites, it sort of sounds like Origami is some sort of “reference platform” like the Microsoft Tablet. Microsoft doesn’t actually build and sell Tablet PCs- they help other companies like Toshiba build the actual machines, and provide an OS and co-marketing effort to help it work. I suppose it could be a for-real Microsoft branded hardware product, but that would be really odd.

Whereas the Tablet PC is basically a laptop with a reversable screen (I.E.: 6 pounds+ of luggable), the Origami prototype devices look more like Sony Playstation Portables (PSPs)- about the size of a PalmPilot. Is it a PDA? It sorta looks like one, but supposedly its not one of those, either. Its a “connected” device, or so it seems- several references to it talk about web browsing and email as primary functions. Its also “multi-media” capable (audio/video), and at least one screenshot seems to be showing someone playing Halo on it. Apparently its OS is some derivative of Windows XP rather than the Pocket PC OS. It also has the ability to capture “written” notes, apparently…akin to a Tablet.

But what exactly *is* the Origami? Apparently, we’ll know more on March 9th. Whether that will give us the full story remains to be seen.

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