Microsoft Origami – first thoughts

Well … it’s been fun watching the media uproar, and the debates over
the hype about the Microsoft Origami device. I has also been fun
to see the product announced and in the press.
It was fun since we at Agilix Labs had one here at our facility for quite
some time prior to the leaks. We’ve been tweaking our GoBinder
code to ensure that our Tablet PC applications work on this new device.

So what do I think about the UMPC/Origami device? I actually like
it! Yes, like many people are saying, this is a mini-Tablet PC
type of device. There is nothing earth shattering about it that I
know of right now, but I do want to buy one for my three year old
son. He has been using my HP Tablet PC for quite a while now, and
is becoming very adept at navigating the user interface, and easily
switching from mouse to stylus. I have really been thinking about
what I buy him to use … or do I give him my old laptop as I
upgrade? What about a PlayStation Portable? Oh … what about the $100 Laptop Project?

My laptop is too large for my son. The PSP? It’s still
$250.00 and doesn’t have half of the capabilities nor features.
The $100 Laptop? Way too limited in my opinion in that it lacks
the breadth of application support … and isn’t yet available. A Tablet PC? No … too expensive today.

In my opinion the key is going to be the price point of these new
Origami devices. When I can buy a device like this for the ~$600+
I have a hard time considering anything else. It runs a standard
operating system (and might even support Linux!) and brings the full
breadth of application support. It’ll run games, and provide
Internet connectivity. It’ll have Bluetooth and integrate with
cell phones.

I’m not saying that this product is going to kill the $100 Laptop
Project … that will always have it’s place. But in more
affluent societies where some extra money can be spent it seems to me
that the Origami is addressing a real market. This is the place
between the PDA/PSP types of devices, and the laptop/Tablet PCs.

So I’ll probably buy one for my son. Will I buy one? I
think that I might buy one for myself … just to experiment as a
platform for new applications. Religion aside, when Microsoft and
Intel (and Samsung, and ASUS, and …) get behind something they are
going to create a new market. I do believe that for software
developers, there is going to be a whole new generation of applications
for this platform.

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