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What is Microsoft's Origami Project? 243

Posted by Zonk
from the friday-fan-fiction dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Rumors are running around the web about a new Microsoft gadget codenamed Origami that will be unveiled on March 2nd. Speculation can be found on Designtastesgood, Scobleizer, and Thatedeguy, and WindowsForDevices has a description and photos of a prototype Origami device built by National Semiconductor 2001. Anybody out there know more about this new device?"
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What is Microsoft's Origami Project?

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  • by thewiz (24994) *
    Can you use it to make small paper swans?
  • Astroturf (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    'Anonymous coward' hyping an yet to be released MS products. Sounds like astroturfing to me. I bet it's the marketing manager.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday February 24, 2006 @02:57PM (#14795255)
    It's a flash animation made by marketdroids.
  • by EntropyXP (956792) on Friday February 24, 2006 @02:57PM (#14795257)
    Is it going to be like those future telling devices the girls used in 3rd grade? Pick 1, then 2, then 3, oops, looks like you're going be hit by a bus, try again.
    • by gaveawaymyname (934554) on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:03PM (#14795316)
      "Pick a number"

      "4"

      "1... 2... 3... 4..."

      "Pick a color"

      "Blue"

      "A fatal exception 0E has occured at 0137:BFFA21C9. The current application will be terminated."
      • A fatal exception 0E has occured at 0137:BFFA21C9

        One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered origami community when slashdot confirmed that origami market share has dropped yet again, even before it was released to the genral public.

        You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict origami's future. The hand writing is on the wall: origami faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for origami because origami is dying. Things are lo
      • Here I am without modpoints when something really worth a +1 Funny comes along.
      • Yeah, I always failed it. I picked the numbers OK, but then it was always,

            "Um... Yellow.. No -- Blue! AIIIIIiiieeeee....! "
    • Naw...it's a revised front-end to the Folding@Home project.
  • Not sure... (Score:4, Funny)

    by sammy baby (14909) on Friday February 24, 2006 @02:58PM (#14795264) Journal
    I'm not sure, but the animation on the linked "Origami Project" site is scaring the shit out of me.

    This is like "I Love Bees," only minus the whimsicial veneer.
    • I'm not sure, but the animation on the linked "Origami Project" site is scaring the shit out of me.

      Why? because it's made by Microsoft or because it says "touch me"?
      • by sammy baby (14909) on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:06PM (#14795355) Journal
        All of the above.

        Plus, the "Do you know where I can go" bit. Now I'm going to worry that a thing from Microsoft that wants me to touch it can go under my bed and wait for me to fall asleep.
        • Seems like Microsoft is slipping into senescence. It was "where do you want to go", now it's "do you know where I can go?" It's like going from direction-giving savant to alzheimer's victim.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Do you know how I can change your life?

          Do you realise who you're dealing with?

          Do you even know who the fuck I am?!

          I'm going to FUCKING BURY YOU IN YOUR SLEEP!

          I've done it before, and I'll do it again! I'm going to FUCKING KILL YOU ALL!!
    • Am I the only one that thought it would make a good intro for the next Resident Evil movie?
  • Why is Bill Gates telling me to "Touch me" His heavy heartbeat amid the ambient backdrop is quite erotic.
    • Why is Bill Gates telling me to "Touch me" His heavy heartbeat amid the ambient backdrop is quite erotic.

      Hmm, "Bill Gates" and "erotic" in the same sentence. Didn't see that coming!

      OUCH! alright, who threw the damn apple?!? OUCH, fine i'm lea OUCH...

    • by JonTurner (178845) on Friday February 24, 2006 @04:17PM (#14795992) Journal
      You're right... it is a little disturbing.
      So far, it's said "Touch me. Hello. Do you know me? Do you know what I can do? and where i can go? or how I can change your life?"

      Sheesh.. Next it'll ask "What are you wearing?" and "What's your credit card #, baby"?
      • No you got it wrong, first you give your credit card number and THEN you can ask "What are you wearing?"
      • So far, it's said "Touch me. Hello. Do you know me? Do you know what I can do? and where i can go? or how I can change your life?"

        Sounds like one of those conversations people on the subway have with me.
  • I think they're releasing the next week's worth of info on the website next week. Not releasing/unveiling the product itself.
    Such a tease.
  • by drewzhrodague (606182) <(ten.eugadorhz) (ta) (werd)> on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:01PM (#14795299) Homepage Journal
    Linux ported to this device in 5... 4... 3... 2...
  • New for nerds? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536)
    This isn't news for nerds. This isn't stuff that matters. This is pure speculation by bloggers and *rolling eyes* journalists. No one even knew this was Microsoft [msversus.com] related until they started looking up domain name information.
  • by timeOday (582209)
    Let's just wait and see!

    Seriously, I'm sure whatever it is, there will be plenty of time to figure out how it's not an iPod killer.

  • I heard they got VC funding for this by pitching it as:

    A device for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.

    It's worked before, why not again?
    • A device for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.

            Co-incidentally this is also the exact wording of the patent application, which will be approved any time soon...
  • I know nothing about this thing, and have never even heard 'origami' and 'Microsoft' in the same sentence together before just now. But knowing how that M$ almost always uses totally unimaginative descriptors as product names, I'm guessing origami is something small that folds, like a portable device with a fold out screen or keyboard or something. I'm posting this guess purely for my own entertainment.
    • Re:A guess (Score:4, Funny)

      by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Friday February 24, 2006 @04:20PM (#14796017) Homepage Journal
      But knowing how that M$ almost always uses totally unimaginative descriptors as product names

      Yeah, but Origami must be a code name since the real name will probably be something like "Microsoft Thing". What past names have they used? "Windows", "Office", "Media Player", "Explorer", mostly very generic.

      It will probably be something like new version of Windows Media Player but with 2 important changes:

      1. 3 more butt-ugly usability-challenged "skins"
      2. Even less screen real estate available for content.

      Or wait... "origami" means folding something up in a complicated way...

      Yeah, that's it! It's a new kind of DRM that folds up your content into a confusing shape that you can't unfold (unencrypt) without tearing.

      • Yeah, that's it! It's a new kind of DRM that folds up your content into a confusing shape that you can't unfold (unencrypt) without tearing.
        Sounds like a Digital Chinese Finger Trap.

        The trick is to push the ends of the trap inward... shit, DRM, forgot.
  • by FrontalLobe (897758) on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:06PM (#14795356)
    With a name like that... The project is destined to fold...
  • No idea (Score:4, Funny)

    by daeley (126313) on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:08PM (#14795369) Homepage
    But I bet there's a paper clip involved.
  • didn't make it past legal.
  • I noticed that windowsfordevices.com (216.218.185.157) looks (as far as the website goes) almost identical to linuxdevices.com (216.218.185.154). The IP's make it look like they might be with the same server farm.

    Just weird... The first thought I had looking at the site was that it looked almost exactly like the one for linuxdevices.com... Second, read the article there.. YAWN!!! More gadgetry that people will get excited about till the next latest and greatest thing arrives in a few months.

    Look at this! (p
    • Let me assure you that the C8000, while running Linux, is no superstar in the reliability department. Couple that with Philips UI and you have what is know in the vernacular as a steaming piece of shit.
    • The easy solution is to scroll down to the bottom of the page and notice that the copyright info is both for Ziff Davis. Would probably explain why the IP addresses are so close and the sites look the same...
      From Linuxdevices.com
      Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Except where otherwise specified, the contents of this site are copyright © 1999-2006 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohib
  • MS Astroturfing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Matt Perry (793115) <(perry.matt54) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:13PM (#14795411)
    This smells of a MS astroturfing troll. Since whatever it is hasn't been released we can only waste time speculating. Maybe it's a desert topping or a floor wax. Maybe it's both. In any case, it's vapourware until it shows up. How about we all wait a week to see what is announced and then have a discussion about it?
    • This smells of a MS astroturfing troll. Since whatever it is hasn't been released we can only waste time speculating. Maybe it's a desert topping or a floor wax. Maybe it's both. In any case, it's vapourware until it shows up. How about we all wait a week to see what is announced and then have a discussion about it?

      Well, we can always try to whip ourselves into a frenzy so that we expect something fantastic, and then are horribly disappointed in what comes out.

      BTW, my brother's uncle's cousin's friend's wif

  • ...that see's an odd likeness between the logo of this device [windowsfordevices.com] and another logo [preview-online.com] we've seen recently from another evil company?

    If this is just a random fluke, I'd sure say it's a funny one considering the product type. If it's not a fluke, it's time to break out a new batch of tinfoil hats.

    MTW
  • Sweet, the prototype looks like it's got a bottle-opener on it!

    Just what cellphones have been missing!
  • So... In theory... If you put this and a Nintendo DS together, would they keep each other entertained?
  • Why don't you wait until details unfold before making that kind of statement!
  • Paper Tiger (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:24PM (#14795494) Homepage Journal
    FTFA:
    "The Origami folds and pivots into a digital camera, video camcorder, smartphone, MP3 audio player, PDA, Internet access or Internet picture frame, email device or video conferencing terminal.

    Origami utilizes Bluetooth wireless technology for network connectivity. PAN and LAN networks use a Bluetooth-equipped access point, while WAN uses a Bluetooth GSM or CDMA phone.
    "

    That's the Origami vaporware. Now, what's my SonyEricsson K750? Without folding or pivoting, it's a digital video/still camcorder, MP3 player, contacts/calendar/notes PDA, GPRS Internet, and picture frame. With Java applets, it's a "smartphone", and with applets and a Bluetooth keyboard it's an email device and maybe even "videoconferencing terminal". And it pivots images for preferred display orientation on user demand.

    And it's over a year old. I'm sure there are phones with better email and "videoconferencing". What is this Microsoft astroturf?
    • Re:Paper Tiger (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcostantino (585892)
      That prototype is actually 5 years old and probably only shares the name and OS manufacturer. I personally can wait a few weeks before I dismiss this completely.
    • Re:Paper Tiger (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nikanj (799034)
      Well, the Nokia N90 does all the same things _and_ also pivots, twists and folds more than my humble mind can comprehend.
    • my friend, sadly you do not understand the meaning of Microsoft Innovation. It's a wonderful process and has ABSOLUTELY no dependence on products that already exist : )
    • That's the Origami vaporware. Now, what's my SonyEricsson K750? Without folding or pivoting, it's a digital video/still camcorder, MP3 player, contacts/calendar/notes PDA, GPRS Internet, and picture frame. With Java applets, it's a "smartphone", and with applets and a Bluetooth keyboard it's an email device and maybe even "videoconferencing terminal". And it pivots images for preferred display orientation on user demand.... And it's over a year old. I'm sure there are phones with better email and "videoconf
  • You fold it in half to more easily store it in some kind of carrying case, and open it to see the screen and access the pointing device and keyboard. What will they think of next - a graphicaly based interface to the operating system?

  • Well whatever it is, it'll be better than an overpriced scooter in art-"health-care-device" style.
  • by anandamide (86527) on Friday February 24, 2006 @03:43PM (#14795690)
    1) Take customer's money.
    2) Fold it in half.
    3) Stick it in Bill Gate's wallet.
    4) Origami!
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday February 24, 2006 @04:13PM (#14795956)
    An Anonymous Reader submits a story to Slashdot in order to hype a previously under-reported Microsoft project.

    Slashdot readers slashdot the site rendering it unreachable by the masses at large.

    Net result, one effect cancels out the other.

  • My guess is they are about to release a network search agent, possibly coupled to a mobile wireless device. I'm imagining a handheld (Palm pilot-ish) coupled to a wireless Windows CE coupled with a Microsoft [msn.com] Terranova or similar map program for getting information while out in the field, coupled with Microsoft Search [msn.com] for finding information on the fly.

    The star design [ort.org] (nodes radiating from a central node) implies a network configuration, where there is a central location that is retrieving data from externa
  • "You will..." (last line of the Flash animation)

    "People like you helping people like us help ourselves" - Processed World.

  • If MS reveals an incredible folding computer into a breifcase and patent's it, I'm going to cite prior art from the Jetsons! Oh wait nevermind... that's a laptop (I mean notebook) computer!
  • In order to improve security, Microsoft decided to make the next generation Windows firewall from folded paper. It might not be "safe" by most people's standards, but it is like Fort Knox in Microsoft scale.

  • It's pretty obvious that those are CG renderings of an imaginary object.

    What kind of connector is that on the side? I'm trying to get a sense of scale. It looks like a cell phone, but if it's the size of a cell phone, that keyboard is going to be utterly useless.

  • It is a handheld game system like psp....
  • by Rac3r5 (804639)
    What the hell is up with that stupid pointless flash animation...

    anyway, a device like this is long overdue..

    I have been looking for a device which is a:
    * digital camera
    * video camcorder
    * smartphone
    * MP3 player
    * PDA

    Hopefully this device has something better than a 4MP resolution with at least 4X optical zoom. It they wanna make it a video camcorder, they better b
  • Okay, I went to that Origami Project website, and it loaded a Flash animation that floated the words 'Touch me' on a mod blue background. I immediately clicked back.

    Does this technology need to gain fame through sexual undertones?

  • From the Article:

    * digital camera
    * video camcorder
    * smartphone
    * MP3 player
    * PDA
    * Internet access and Internet picture frame
    * email access
    * video conferencing


    Ok, so it's the same thing that was already becoming absolete in Tokyo two years ago... Except heavier and with no built-i
  • Microsoft is betting on and hoping blackberry will be gone on purpose so they can have their own blackberry killer.

    It will be a windowsCE device (err windows powered) that will play media files (itunes killer) sync with media player store (with vista) and may or may not include cell phone capabilities. My guess is all the pocket word and excel software for their pda's will be included as well.

    Microsoft just may have made the ultimate ipod killer, phone, and blackberry.

    The touch me button and zooming gave a
  • by gatzke (2977)
    I already do all the proposed functionality with my treo 650.

    Do you really need video conferencing on a cell phone? I don't use video conferencing on my desktop...

    I hate moving points. That is where my cell always dies. Treo= no moving points.

    Bad idea.

    Good idea: wireless mp3+mic headphones for my treo. bluetooth stinks.
  • It's a paper-folding device installed in your wallet to ease the nano matter-energy transportation of your cash to Bill.

    Unfortunately the prototype had a general protection fault which caused someone's pants to be transported to the Gamma quadrant, 70,000 light years from home.
  • I know the submission was astroturf, but I'm still interested to see what the heck this thing actually is.

    Engadget is running an article [engadget.com] with some possible information on the project. Looks somewhat interesting.
  • This past semester I interned with a motion graphics / live action production house DigitalKitchen (title sequences for Six Feet Under, Rescue Me, Nip / Tuck, Ghost Whisperer, etc). They've done a lot of "commercial" work for Microsoft, including one on the "Origami" project. You can watch the spot at Digital Kitchen's website [d-kitchen.com]. Navigation is a pain, but click on the logo >> Enter >> Work >> Brandtheatre and it's the top video. Enjoy.
  • Must be like Olga Origami, Prime's long thought lost little niece. Special powers include a 3 megapixel camera, 3G telephony, and laser bluetooth.

    It's simply amazing what kinds of markets Microsoft is interesting in these days:)

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