March 9, 2006

Origami and the dangers of careless blogging

I almost posted about Microsoft's Origami project a few weeks ago - there were rumours making the rounds and somehow I got the impression it had been announced. Fortunately, in looking for a link to include, I found out it had NOT. That would have been a definite NDA violation.


I wonder what would have happened? I mean, all the rumour sites were pretty much
dead-on (and the video gives it away). Oh well, probably best I don't find out.

As to the device itself, it may be a little underwhelming in the "gee-whiz-new-feature" department, but I have to admit, I want one. I think it will do OK in the marketplace - it may even redefine the ultra-portable segment. Keys to success will be: horsepower, price, battery life, and the usability of the keyboard.

The stylus/Tablet PC aspect is still under-imagined and over valued, in my view. The last great input device to succeed (the mouse) required a a complete re-imagining of the human-computer-interface. I think touch screen computing needs to signigicantly
evolve the metaphors of interaction - just being an awkward mouse doesn't do much for me (or anyone else, I think).

All in all, from what I've seen, I don't think this first incarnation of Origami will be quite the runaway revolution Microsoft hopes for - I think the idea is that it will become the portable PERSONAL computing device: One for everybody in the family! It will be your portable digital media hub! - like we've not heard all of these ideas before.

Still, I want one - probably not a bad sign, especially for "version 1.0" (or maybe 2.0, if you think about Tablet PCs as 1.0 - so one more generation to go...)

And definitely a sign of the future...

...And the past - I think Origami might be the first real "karmic" successor to the Newton. Palm, Treo, and its ilk of PDA/cel-phones/whatever, I think of as more squarely in the consumer electronics category - and steps away from the general computing opportunities that Origami represents.


Anonymous said...

Official site.

Anonymous said...

I agree, this kind of devices seem very versatile. It can be a GPS device in a car, a book, ( a phone? ) a gaming console and much more. I think its size is just right, smaller than a laptop and bigger than a palm-sized device.

Back in year 1997 I saw a Microsoft made movie about how they see an evolution of PCs. This sort of devices were presented there as a PC for everyone and everywhere. They predicted that the device would be availbale in 2000 but today is 2006 and it's still in development.

Anonymous said...

sree, I was looking around the web but couldn't find an answer for this: Is OCP an open platform and can others use this in their applications?

You talk alot about Boxley and OCP but what is the point of it if other people cannot use it?

Sree Kotay said...

anonymous (#2), yes, I do talk a lot about OCP and Boxely, and other stuff. Right now, they're just stories about the hows and whys of doing development at AOL.

However, I do expect to open up a LARGE amount of our services (client and web) significantly over the next 6 months (or so).

Anonymous said...

i'm not impressed with origami. looks like any other device on

i'm a big smartphone fan. i've tried everything. in order i like palm-based treo's (650 and upcoming 700p), windows mobile (currently use a samsung i730), blackberry, and then nokia. i think even the n-gage td is a better device than origami based on features and size.

the origami comes at a bad time for consumers. it's everything we want "right now"... until may/june when two intel related events occur:
1) xscale monahans
2) core duo vt-x + presler bios

sorry, i just don't like it when i see people drinking the kool-aid.