At the moment all that is known of Microsoft’s forthcoming Project Origami comes from a year old concept video and a website containing a few cryptic comments, nonetheless the portable device is generating a lot excitement.
The video, which according to Microsoft is more of a brainstorming exercise than an actual demonstration of technology, envisages a wireless tablet PC accessed through a stylus pen that can be used to run applications and play games, form connections with other machines, access the internet and a GPS navigation tool in a variety of locations. With the emergence of iPods it also seems a safe bet that the new device will be MP3 capable.
While the video does not offer concrete evidence of Microsoft’s progress it does offer a tantalizing glimpse of the company’s thinking. Bill Gates has long been of the opinion that in challenging iPod and BlackBerry a simple rehash of their technology would not be enough, and has subtly expressed his frustration that so many companies seem content to tread old paths.
Project Origami, a name derived from the company’s recently launched website, suggests that Microsoft is thinking bigger and looking at a more complete device, capable of combining multiple functions into one form factor which may ultimately becoming as ubiquitous as the mobile phone.
There can be no doubt Microsoft has the financial muscle to pull it off, and with the company promising to release details on March 2, it will soon be known whether its ambition can match the hype.