The Buzz: Origami Draws Cheers, Jeers

Microsoft finally unveiled its much-hyped Origami Project, now called Ultra-Mobile PCs, early Thursday at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. While many pundits saw promise in the new platform, a palpable sense of disappointment has been a common theme among many consumers.

Was the device overhyped, and did Microsoft under-deliver? What do you think?

"So finally Microsoft Origami (or what it would be) has been brought to light -- and my first reaction, for crying out loud, yet another digital device? Since it is an ultra portable PC based on Windows XP, how secure is it? What is the "re-boot" time? How much resources it would need and how long is the battery life. Of course the price point is even more worrisome: at $599 to $999, it is still too expensive for an occasional use device."
- Om Malik, Business 2.0

"No matter what Origami's future in the marketplace, if it succeeds in driving more reference designs for Microsoft partners, the project should be called successful. I am sometimes appalled when I look at what some of Microsoft partners have done with the company's software. I would suggest Microsoft do more reference designs, and music players would be an obvious starting place."
- Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Monitor

"The hype got too big too fast. Who was responsible? Dustin Hubbard, Group Manager over on the Mobile PC team. He explains what happened on the Origami team blog. He tells how he didn't plan for the hype to get so out of control. And, with that, this will be my last Origami post until I get my hands on a production unit."
- Robert Scoble, blogging on the Origami hype

"Overall, the campaign was successful beyond our wildest expectations and frankly maybe a little too successful. When we came up with this idea a few months ago, this was intended to be a small, grassroots effort to generate some interest in the UMPC. Boy, did we do that!"
- Dustin Hubbard, Microsoft's Mobile PC team Group Manager

"In terms of usage model, Origami as a concept may well change what devices people carry with them. While it's not a pocketable device, Origami units by design are small enough to be kept close at hand. The fact that they run Windows means that they can excel at a variety of tasks, from productivity to games to media consumption (it's a great Slingbox client, for example). Expect the Origami story to evolve and remember, we haven't seen the Origami story in the Vista timeframe. Look at Origami the way you might look at a new platform, not the value of a particular machine today."
- Michael Gartenberg, Jupter Research

"It's a product in search of a market. It's too expensive for the things it does, and is too under-featured to do some of the other things it needs to do."
- Stephen Baker, NPD Group

"It might be worthwhile to note that the Ultra-Mobile is the result of the partial failures of Microsoft's other two portable system plans: The Tablet PC and the Portable Media Center. To be fair, the Tablet PC is not a total failure, but it certainly hasn't been embraced by the wide consumer and business audience Microsoft envisioned when it launched tablet PCs in 2002. Portable Media Centers, on the other hand, count, in my book, as abject disasters. No one is buying them, and few manufacturers are making them. Origami is Microsoft's attempt to repackage both concepts into a true hybrid device - and one that, it hopes, is more palatable to an iPod-crazed public."
- Lance Ulanoff, PC Magazine

"I was hoping it would be cooler because I'm looking for a portable device. But (so far) color me unimpressed by Project Origami. (As everyone predicted) Microsoft is now suffering backlash from the over-hype. Anytime you give the market that much hype they expect a free pony. To some degree, I admit I fall in that number. I was hoping for more."
- Wizbang Blog

12 Responses to The Buzz: Origami Draws Cheers, Jeers

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