Microsoft Unveils Origami at CeBIT

Microsoft used this weekis CeBIT trade show in Germany to unveil Origami, a paperback-sized computer that runs Windows XP and includes a seven-inch touch-screen and a stylus. According to AP Business writer Matt Moore, it weighs two-and-a-half pounds and is one inch thick.

Intelis Celeron M and Pentium M processors power the device, which is currently being manufactured by Samsung, Asus and Founder and will start shipping next month, with the price ranging between US$600 and $1,000. However, it wonit be called Origami -- that was apparently a code name. Microsoftis official name is Ultra-Mobile PC, according to a marketing director with the company.

The device supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and it uses new software called Windows Touch Pack to handle the touch-screen functionality. It will also be able to run Windows Vista, which is scheduled for release by the end of the year. While it doesnit have a keyboard, it includes USB 2.0 ports so that one can be plugged in. It also includes a program called Dial Keys that places keyboard keys in the lower corners of the screen for thumb typing.

Ultra-Mobile PC features SecureDigital and CompactFlash card slots, jacks for connecting digital cameras, headphones and speakers, and a hard drive up to 60GB in size. Battery life is around 2.5 to 3 hours, according to Mr. Moore.

He quoted Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg as saying: "The whole Origami concept may very well change what devices people are going to carry with them. Itis not a pocketable device, but itis certainly small enough to be kept close at hand, and the fact that it runs Windows means that it can do a variety of tasks, from productivity to games to media consumption."

The Ultra-Mobile PC