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.