Microsoft has unveiled details for Ultra-Mobile Personal Computers, a new category of mobile computing devices that features small, lightweight, carry-everywhere hardware designs coupled with the functionality of a Microsoft Windows-based PC.
Microsoft sees Origami, the new PC product’s original name, as a new category of PC. Smaller than a laptop with more functionality than a PDA, the Origami weighs around two pounds, has a two and half hour battery life, a seven inch touch screen and a solid range of inbuilt applications.
It is intriguing certainly but not the revolution many had hoped for. Microsoft was keen to stress that this is not the mass market consumer product it ultimately envisions. This is a first step towards that product, a niche device for technology geeks, a fact reflected in its $599 to $999 price tag.
More disappointing perhaps is the fact that while many speculated that the Origami would be the device that saw Microsoft launch itself into the hardware fray against Apple, it appears the company is not quite ready for that battle yet. With Origami, Microsoft will be sticking to its traditional tactic of outlining specifications and providing software but leaving the manufacturing to third parties, in this case Samsung, Founder and Asus initially.
While hardware specifications will vary with each manufacturer users can expect wireless networking capability, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth feature sets with the possibility of GPS, digital TV tuners and almost any other mass market feature currently enjoying success.
As it stands, the potential of Origami is more intriguing than the device itself, but with Microsoft dedicated to the vision of the ultra portable PC, it is a potential that looks certain to be realized.