“A new portable media device that allows users to listen to music, play video games, browse the Internet and jot handwritten notes is the initial vision of a product in development by Microsoft Corp. and its partners,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for Reuters. “Microsoft yesterday acknowledged that an early version of its new handheld, PC-like device was featured in a video on the Web site for marketing firm Digital Kitchen LLC. ‘While Origami is a concept we’ve been working on with partners, please know that the video seen on Digital Kitchen’s Web site is a year old and represents our initial exploration into this form factor, including possible uses and scenarios,’ a Microsoft spokesman said.”

“While some media reports flagged the product as a possible rival to Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod digital music player or Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Portable game device, Origami seemed to incorporate more functions and appeared to be much larger than those gadgets,” Wakabayashi reports. “The company declined to disclose details about the device, including when it might be available for sale, but said there would be announcements over the coming weeks… The Web site promised to disclose more information on Thursday, but Microsoft said there will be no announcement this week about Origami. Intentional or not, the mysterious marketing campaign fueled speculation and rumors usually reserved for Apple and its ultrasecretive new product announcements. The disclosures about Microsoft’s Origami comes as Apple promises to unveil ‘fun new products’ at a media event later today.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft working with partners to introduce an Apple Newton/eMate 300 clone? Yawn.

MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iMac and MacBook Pro owners: Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using dial-up service. Only $49.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related article:
Microsoft wants to steal Apple’s thunder, to announce ‘innovative concept in development’ on Tuesday – February 27, 2006