Origami: another Microsoft product in search of a market

“After Bill Gates described his vision of a fully functional mobile PC with all-day battery life priced around US$500 at last year’s WinHEC conference, many were surprised to see Microsoft come to market with a device that’s not only bigger but more expensive and power-hungry than the software maker had hoped,” Buket Oktem writes for IT Business. “Stephen Baker, an NPD Group analyst, doesn’t see the devices having much mass appeal. ‘Prices are too high for the mass market, battery life isn’t sufficient and product definition is not sufficient,’ he said. ‘It’s a product in search of a solution. The hardware and software manufacturers have an idea, they have a form factor and components but they’re not really sure what they should do with this other than it’s ultra mobile.’”

“Based on the vendors committed to the platform — Samsung, Asus and China’s Founder — Eddie Chan of IDC Canada said it will be a while until UMPC devices come north of the border. ‘Realistically it will be a year before we see any rampup,’ he said. ‘And keep in mind that tablets haven’t taken off the way Microsoft had hoped,'” Oktem writes. “According to Baker, the products are being released prematurely. ;This is very bad marketing from Intel and Microsoft to push something that isn’t really ready yet because it does leave open the possibility that bad reception is going to kill it and it’s probably not worthy of being killed,; he said.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
The elephant in the room: Will Microsoft’s ‘Origami’ ultramobile PCs run Apple’s iTunes? – March 09, 2006
Microsoft’s Origami Project revealed – March 07, 2006
Microsoft practices the art of vapor-folding with ‘Origami’ – March 03, 2006


  1. Furst Post!

    Origami is something that just needs to fold… fold away into oblivion.

    One thing about origami (the art) is that it requires a LOT of patience until you get to the final product. AT least they have that in common.

    However, I will not bash a product until it comes to fruition.

  2. ” many were surprised to see Microsoft come to market with a device that’s not only bigger but more expensive and power-hungry than the software maker had hoped”

    Again, I ask, why? Sounds like MS to me.

  3. This is exactly why Apple hasn’t produced a tablet or ultra-mobile Mac yet. The battery and chip technology simply isn’t there yet to support what users want in the product – all day battery life, extremely light weight, touch screen, full (or mostly full) power of a laptop/desktop, and inexpensive.

  4. Shucks… another fantastic product in Ballmer’s pipeline of products that are feature rich down the toilet.

    But wait. Others are are around the corner in another 12 months or so.

    MW: Income. No worries for Ballmer.

  5. The thing about Origami is that M$ will keep hammering away at it until it gains traction and Moore’s Law catches up with it. Look at what has happened with MSN, X-Box, Windows CE and now with Windows Media Center Edition. They will lose money and bide their time as they squash everybody else.

    Palm is a prime example. M$ slowly removed the profit from Palm until Palm is now making devices running Windows. The handheld market was their bread & butter while it was just one of many things going on at M$.

    M$ is a mature company looking for growth wherever it can. They have a pile of money and will use it to simply wear out any competitor.

  6. The Origami prototype displayed at CES had a battery life of 15 minutes! The actual models are supposed to have “better battery life” and Mafia$oft claims that they will last 2-3 hours, but I would be HIGHLY skeptical.

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