Tue 21 Mar 2006
Computer juggernaut Microsoft has made the news twice recently: Once for a project called “Origami” and once for MS Live.
MS Origami is the project name for Microsoft's Ultra-Mobile PC. Their teaser site is http://www.origamiproject.com/3/ but you can find more details about it here:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/umpc/default.mspx. It's a new product being unveiled right now. It's a 5 — 7 inch touch screen computer with an onscreen keyboard. It's not getting a lot of good press. I'm going to be interested in seeing how it sells because it doesn't seem to serve a niche: it's too big for a PDA, so you're not going to get the business crowd carrying it around and it's too small for a tablet PC (plus no standard keyboard) so you're not going to get the mobile computer crowd… and yet, that seems to be the crowds it's aiming to serve.
I may be skeptical about MS Origami/Ultra-Mobile PC, but I am very hopeful about MS Live. MS Live is Microsoft's search engine. Still in Beta mode, it looks (as of now) to have the power and simplicity of Google with a few other features (like scrollable frames and a control that lets you choose how much information you get from each website on the search screen). At this point, I don't suspect it to outpace Google, because I think Google is fighting back with more and more services, but it could quite possibly unsettle them in the future. After all, my nose is to the ground and I hear discontented rumblings that the omnipotent Google is not loved by all. Admittedly, neither is Microsoft, but eventually people might be looking for someone to unseat the Google giant.