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Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

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Otto Berkes is the architect (now general manager) behind the Ultra-Mobile PC team, code-named Origami. We have a conversation about Origami and the vision behind it. More on what was announced today is found here on Microsoft's Presspass site.

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  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    One question was about battery life that didn't get answered to my satisfaction. The team tells me they are getting two to three hours of battery life with the first devices.

    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?
  • Better fix your links... Smiley
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    There's more details here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/umpc
    http://www.origamiproject.com/3/
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Eirik wrote:
    Better fix your links...

    I just fixed them.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Availability? Depends on the device. But I'm hearing the first devices will be available in April. We should know more by the end of the day as the CeBit announcements get made.
  • Looks great, just what the rumours said...! Haven't watched the video yet as I am at work on a Linux box.

    If the price is right (around or less than the cheapest laptops now) I will definitely get one - but I wonder when it will be available here.



  • UlsterFryUlsterFry http://en.​wikipedia.​org/wiki/​Ulster_fry
     I dunno, I'd prefer to use my laptop for extensive work and a WM5.0 phone for the portablity.. at the moment this just misses the mark (I know he said it wasn't designed to fit in the pocket..)  .. if you can get it much smaller (ipodket size), then I'd be sold.

    But I have to say, congrats to the team..  it's a nice bit of kit..
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Update: John Tokash, director of software development at Homestead Technologies, watched the full video already and says “Great stuff.”

    Michael Gartenberg also has his first take analysis up. He’s had a pre-production Intel unit in his hands for a while.

    Origami Portal already has a step-by-step analysis of my interview with Otto.

  • blowdartblowdart Peek-a-boo
    scobleizer wrote:

    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?


    OK

    The site says "bluetooth enabled". Do they mean every device must have bluetooth, or that just the OS supports it?

    It appears some devices have cameras some don't, so you already have fragmentation in the market; which is such a silly idea. What is the mimimum spec for MS to be happy having a machine branded under the Origami "label"?

    The intel umpc doc talks about long battery life. 2 hours is hardly long. How does intel feel about this? The intel docs also talk about location awareness. Without GPS how are you going to manage this, or has it been thrown away?

    Are you going to encourage the use of standard drivers? For example Toshiba have their own incredibly stupid Bluetooth stack, which is a pain to use and maintain.


  • IanIan Proud to be geek ....
    Cool! 

    Questions:

    Where is the best place to get a hands on outside CEBIT? (Mix06?)
    When will I be able to get one in the UK?
    Does the 360 know about these devices as a result of the last 360 software update?
    (What happens when you plug it in to a 360?)
    How long before we see an example of integration with 360 games? 
    Have I bought into the hype enough?
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    UlsterFry wrote:
    scobleizer wrote:
    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?


    Would you replace your laptop with this?


    No. I need more screen resolution than this gives and I still use a keyboard for most of my work.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    blowdart wrote:
    The site says "bluetooth enabled". Do they mean every device must have bluetooth, or that just the OS supports it?


    The devices I've seen all have Bluetooth. I'm not sure that's a requirement, though.

    blowdart wrote:
    It appears some devices have cameras some don't, so you already have fragmentation in the market; which is such a silly idea. What is the mimimum spec for MS to be happy having a machine branded under the Origami "label"?


    Are you saying choice is bad?

    blowdart wrote:
    The intel umpc doc talks about long battery life. 2 hours is hardly long. How does intel feel about this? The intel docs also talk about location awareness. Without GPS how are you going to manage this, or has it been thrown away?


    I don't know much about what Intel has said. I wasn't able to interview them.

    blowdart wrote:
    Are you going to encourage the use of standard drivers? For example Toshiba have their own incredibly stupid Bluetooth stack, which is a pain to use and maintain.


    We're working with driver manufacturers to standardize whenever possible. But, as you might imagine, this is a big problem. Not sure when it'll be solved. A significant step will be seen with Windows Vista later this year.
  • UlsterFryUlsterFry http://en.​wikipedia.​org/wiki/​Ulster_fry
    scobleizer wrote:

    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?


    Would you replace your laptop with this?

    <edit>
    I know it's been said that it's not supposed to replace a laptop, but that's just the point, I can't see where this device fits in the market, too big to be truly portable, and not as form friendly as a laptop.

    Maybe it's just because I'm coming from an IT background?  like my previous post, if they'd have made it 7' by 2'  in size that I could drop into a docking  station that resembled a full blown laptop.. I'd have been very presently surprised, and first to part with my cash.
    </edit>
  • blowdartblowdart Peek-a-boo
    scobleizer wrote:
    blowdart wrote:
    The site says "bluetooth enabled". Do they mean every device must have bluetooth, or that just the OS supports it?


    The devices I've seen all have Bluetooth. I'm not sure that's a requirement, though.

    blowdart wrote:It appears some devices have cameras some don't, so you already have fragmentation in the market; which is such a silly idea. What is the mimimum spec for MS to be happy having a machine branded under the Origami "label"?


    Are you saying choice is bad?


    No but I am trying to find what your mimimum requirements are. Choice is fine, if all the choices are usable. However if I have to spend a couple of days chasing down specs because the mimimum simply isn't up to scratch it becomes annoying.

    Hence the question about bluetooth.

    scobleizer wrote:


    blowdart wrote:The intel umpc doc talks about long battery life. 2 hours is hardly long. How does intel feel about this? The intel docs also talk about location awareness. Without GPS how are you going to manage this, or has it been thrown away?


    I don't know much about what Intel has said. I wasn't able to interview them.



    Well considering this is a device that's supposed to be used on the move, always connected to the internet would you be happy with only have 2 hours, and no location awareness?

  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    I'll get Otto to post about the specs.

    Yes, I'm disappointed by battery life so far. This is one of those things that is a cost tradeoff. The longer life batteries are a lot more expensive (and bigger in size).
  • NetRyderNetRyder Tech Junkie
    A two pound, seven-inch wide, touch-enabled Origami running a full-fledged Windows OS, with a solid battery life, and a pricepoint of about $500 would make one hell of a device. The key is to keep them affordable, while at the same time, not turning them into under-powered paperweights. These first gen devices may have not lived up to the hype that was created by the community during the last couple of weeks, but I think they really have some serious potential going forward.

    I thought the UI enhancements were very cool too. It's the same old XP Tablet PC Edition, but with some nifty new things that really improve the useability of these devices. The customizable Program Launcher, for example (with that slick, MCE-like UI). Or the thoughtful arrangement of the on-screen keypad (DialKeys) for quick typing with your thumbs.

    Good stuff. I'm not planning on picking up one of the first-gen models, but I'm going to watch this space closely. Totally looking forward to seeing where you guys go with this.
  • I think these devices have great potential. If I could swing one now I probably would. As a Car PC, a portable (that is small enough not to require briefcase) and as a device that is the same (not merely 'similar' like the PocketPC) as my desktop or laptop, the mobility this promises is outstanding.

    Finally a useful PC for the car, for camping, boating even! Something that has few compromises. I'm glad I never stuffed a Mac Mini into my car!

    But my question: Why no demo of the circular thumb keyboard?
  • JazJaz From the depths of Wales I come
    blowdarts right. a standard needs to be set for something to be called an origami device.  Bluetooth should be in that standard.

    battery life does suck too, 2 hours isn't long enough, i want to be able to watch videos with it on my way to the USA.

    well as they always say, MS sucks at v1, wait for V3 and i think i shall be. 

    it's not really that special.

    did the C9 fail us? yes i think so.  They could of invited a few of us (and tbh i'd have to say any of those that are active on the forums (any forum) rather than those who are just registered) to check out origami at our perspective MS locations (redmond, reading/cambridge etc) surely that would have been possible.

    i want alot more for my $800 (lets face it $500 probably is just going to be low end machine when most if not all will be wanting a mid range)
  • IanIan Proud to be geek ....

    I never bought one of those WinCE type Media Centre Portable Devices that were around a year or two ago (I recall quite a nice Creative unit with a form factor a little less than a UMPC).


    So will these devices be capable of running Windows XP Media Centre - and therefore  be usable as a predominantly Media-Centric device? 

  • DCMonkeyDCMonkey What?!?
    These things sound pretty neat and I do so want one, but that battery life is pathetic. I hope that 2-3 hours is realistic continuous use life and not laptop marketing specs life.

    Any chance MS will be taking another stab at those Mira wireless display devices? One of those, with a price tag less than these Origami devices, would cover my needs for something like this at home and at the office.
  • UlsterFryUlsterFry http://en.​wikipedia.​org/wiki/​Ulster_fry
    getting some bad comments @ http://www.engadget.com/2006/03/09/so-what-is-origami-well-tell-ya/

    mostly from Apple-fanboys..

    I agree this shows great promise, scale it down, improve battery life, and you could end up giving 2 fingers to those fanboys.
  • Alexei PavlovBlackTiger If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
    Hmmm... IMHO - too small for table, too big for pocket and hands.


    Just another device with big ambitious but low usability.


    Absolutely not impressed. My TabletPC is better!

  • I could imagine this device doing very well in the teaching/studies world, where you can enter and view notes and ebooks, as well as video and sound.

    I think it would be fantastic in the enterprise where you have web applications running over secure wireless networks. Hospitals, conventions, sales yards, support personnel, etc.

    If the Vista speech capture capabilities are as good as they sound, this device could capture voice to text very nicely. If the handwriting recognition is excellent then there is a great alternative to typing. Although, my writing is pretty slack, so this would require me to write better...

    Not really a device for word documents. Notes, web forms, speech, video, reading, communication and presence information would be fantastic.


    Definately a lot smaller than a tablet PC or even ultralight laptop.
  • Picard never had a problem with them in NG.Tongue Out
  • kostik_y2kkostik_y2k Cats, Cats, Cats!

    No word about speech recognition... What about that?

  • It's a nice looking device, and if affordable and performant - would go down well.

    I'm kinda diappointed with how it's just another device (in addition to all the others) that you have.  It would be great if more focus was put on getting things to interoperate.

    I've a mobile phone that I carry for voice, data, contacts - why can't  the origami use the contacts on my mobile phone (without having to sync them).  Can I video conf using the origami as the device - and it route via my mobile? I've a bluetooth headset that I use with my phone - can the origami take control of the bluetooth device when it needs to (simply without having to un-pair and re-pair the headset with the mobile/origami).

    Contact management is a big deal - Outlook (on my home machine) is the master respository for my contacts (email/phone numbers/web addresses/etc) - is there going to be an intelligent solution to what goes where?

    My mobile can provide GPS (depending on the operator) - so I can origami use the info from the mobile?

    My mobile has t-Flash - it's a good medium for storage (1GB storage) - but if there isn't going to be a simple way to use it from origami (via the phone without having to plug/unplug/switch) etc - then it's a PIA. 

    Likewise - I'd rather have a USB device that I can plug the origami into that will give me decent graphics (the graphics capabilities on the origami look great) - but I wanna offload intensive graphics work onto the USB device (which will drive my monitor) - wouldn't this mean the origami device does less of the grunt work?

    How hot swap batteries? Even better - how about USB batteries - that I can plug in to extend the battery life! If I have the origami - why not let that charge my mobile? That way - I can just have spare batteries for the origami - and feel I'm always covered.

    All in all - it looks exciting.
  • rhmrhm
    It's too small for serious work and too big to carry around everywhere. Just because there's a big gap between PDA/Cellphones and laptops, doesn't mean you have to fill it - maybe that gap is there for a reason.

    Oh, and when it Microsoft ever going to get over this whole "partner" thing. Is there any example of that strategy ever working out well for Microsoft apart from the PC clone business itself which was really Compaq's idea, not Microsoft's)? You need to design and market the devices yourself - have some Taiwan contract manufacturer make them. That's what you haven't learned from Apple. Consumers don't want to think about "do I buy the Samsung one or the HP one?" and these marginal devices are never a big part of Samsung or HP's portfolio so they don't market them agresively enough. Didn't you learn anything from the Tablet PC?

  • Ian wrote:
    Cool! 

    Questions:

    Where is the best place to get a hands on outside CEBIT? (Mix06?)
    When will I be able to get one in the UK?
    Does the 360 know about these devices as a result of the last 360 software update?
    (What happens when you plug it in to a 360?)
    How long before we see an example of integration with 360 games? 
    Have I bought into the hype enough?


    Yes, working on getting them to Mix06.
    Product will start shipping between April and June. Distribution is worldwide for some OEMs and regional for others.
  • Alexei PavlovBlackTiger If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
    This device is best candidate for "top of most unneeded devices 2006"Big Smile

    I think I'll buy one, later, after my 3rd Mercedes, villa on Bahamas and Apple "Sunflower" Mac. Just for fun.
  • blowdart wrote:


    It appears some devices have cameras some don't, so you already have fragmentation in the market; which is such a silly idea. What is the mimimum spec for MS to be happy having a machine branded under the Origami "label"?



    General specs for the UMPC cateogory are:
    • 7" screen size or smaller
    • Native display resolution of 800x480, with 800x600 and 1024x600 via scaling
    • Intel or VIA moble x86 processor (Intel Celeron M, Pentium M or Via C7-M)
    • 30GB to 60GB+ standard notebook hard drive
    • Multiple input methods: touch screen, pen, button controls, keyboard (option via USB or Bluetooth)
    • WiFi, Bluetooth
    • Weighs under 2lbs
    • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (Windows Vista when released)
  • UlsterFryUlsterFry http://en.​wikipedia.​org/wiki/​Ulster_fry
    I love the way you set the poll to "Do you have a portable digital video device?" prior to this  Big Smile
  • TensorTensor Im in yr house upgrading yr family
    Ok, so I know I'm not the first to say this, but I dont get it.

    I can see this having niche uses for workers out on the road (similar to what Sabot mentioned in previous threads) - but I cant see the man on the street going out and buying one of these. I look at the spec for this, and compare it to my WM5.0 pocket PC, and it just doesnt stack up:

    Comparison      PPC                                          Origami
    Connectivity      Wifi, Bluetooth, GPRS               Wifi, Bluetooth
    Battery life         ~7 hours with gprs on            ~2 -3 hours
    Cost                  Free with contract                    ~$1000
                             (<$50 month)

    The origami site is selling it on connectivity - email and messaging everywhere. My PPC does that allready. I cant see why I need one of these.... 

    Origami comes out better on resolution - so yeah  for watching movies or whatever its going to come out well - but are they likely to have dvd drives built in? Yeah I can run my windows apps on it but most people dont run many windows apps other than office suite and then this doesnt have a keyboard.  A cheap laptop would be better for things like that.

    Its not going to run any decent games, so its not going to compete with the PSP. I can see their being games developed specifically to target it, but only if it sells well enough and again I cant see that.

    Also, when it comes to form factor, I am severely disapointed. Its so 80's/90s. Apple has set a new standard in aesthetics with the iPod and spin-offs and frankly, this just sucks in comparison. People bought iPods partly because they look cool. These devices do not look cool.

    I would have thought MS could have learned some lessons from how apple has gained over the last few years - but it seems not.

    It needs to be somthing diferent. It needs to be somthing special and new that nothing else does. As it is it seems half-way to being a laptop, half-way to being a ppc, half-way to being a mobile media device, half-way to being a lot of things, and yet not good enough to take on any of the specialist devices in any area - and yet more than twice the cost of any of the specialist devices.

    Somthign like the iPod - you could explain why you should buy one in less than ten words: All your music, everywhere you go. My challenge to the Origami team - do the same. Why should I have one of these, in less than ten words.
  • JazJaz From the depths of Wales I come

    Microsoft need to do something like xbox.  if the patents we've seen from apple are going to turn into something it would seem a UMPC would be it.  If they do they're going to do it better than Microsoft's partners.

  • UlsterFryUlsterFry http://en.​wikipedia.​org/wiki/​Ulster_fry
    Tensor wrote:


    It needs to be somthing diferent. It needs to be somthing special and new that nothing else does. As it is it seems half-way to being a laptop, half-way to being a ppc, half-way to being a mobile media device, half-way to being a lot of things, and yet not good enough to take on any of the specialist devices in any area - and yet more than twice the cost of any of the specialist devices.


    I think the phrase you are looking for is "Jack of all trades, master of none"  Wink

  • spandau_b2spandau_b2 " A patent is merelly a license to be sued "
    Well not bad grafically speaking. But i rather have Microsoft concentrate on software quality, fomats interoperability ( your own for a change ) and other issues we hate in windows. I mean, let Asus do that stuff and you concentrate on software.
  • Was an interesting video to watch, however it leaves still some questions open.

    Do I have to boot this device or will it be instant on ? 

    How can I reinstall the whole machine if necessary without a CD drive ?

    Will it have UMTS ?


    Overall I'm pretty much disappointet in terms of the hardware that is used. We are going back to Celeron CPU's and will pay for the device a price that can buy a full laptop with a Centrino. The concept is really promissing, however at the moment these generation one devices are from the hardware point of view a big step back.

    It's funny to see that until origami MS and the hardware vendors made such a big fuzz about "get the latest hardware technology, much much better that before". And suddenly a 1 GHz Pentium M processor is a powerful CPU again. Suddenly such a CPU with 512 MB RAM should be enought to run Windows Vista + Office 2007 ?

    The reference to Photoshop was great, cause that's what I would love to do with such a device, carry always while making pics, and at home connect it to the 32" LCD and work on my pictures, not to boot
    another machine again Sad

  • Does anyone else have trouble with the video streaming?  I can't watch the video because it stops literally every 20 seconds for a full 10 seconds to buffer.  Sad
  • Can you use these to transfer data via USB from and to a digital camera or mp3 player? If so, it would be like an external drive and you can empty your memory card to the UMPC instead.
  • KarimKarim Trapped in a world he never made!
    So finally the wraps come off... Cool

    Biggest disappointment is the resolution.  It's basically a Tablet PC with 800 x 480 resolution.  The hardware scaling will help, but... at the end of the day it's still stuffing 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag...  Having 1024 x 768 on the VGA output will help: you can plug it into a monitor, use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and get some work done.

    Second biggest disappointment is the processor speed: ~1 GHz.  On a Tablet PC, that means "usable, mostly."  You will be able to do stuff, but it will be painfully slow at times.

    Biggest pleasant surprise: some models will have 3.5" hard drives.  Carrying around 120 GB of content is pretty compelling, and something your iPod can't do.  (Yet.)

    Yes, it's "not an iPod killer," but if you can run iTunes on it... who needs an iPod?  Big Smile  Also, does anyone else remember a program someone wrote for the Pocket PC/Windows CE platform?  It was a media player that emulated the iPod UI on a PPC touchscreen.  The scrollwheel worked and everything Big Smile  Of course Apple sued it out of existence in 60 seconds.  Not like a PPC had 30 GB of disk space anyway.  Of course, now that Origami has as much disk space as an iPod... finally Microsoft has a handheld device with a touchscreen and large hard disk.  How long before that application comes back and someone just draws a picture of an iPod on the Origami display and turns it into an iPod? [6]

    Other pleasant surprises: Intel processor (not Transmeta); Windows XP Tablet Edition; USB; Bluetooth; VGA output at XGA+ resolutions.  It's 3-year-old Tablet PC technology being offered at half-price, half-size, half-weight...

    It's a new category of system.  I'm wondering whether it will be able to carve out a place for itself, because laptops are now down in the Origami price range -- $600-$1,000.   For the same price you get a faster processor, plus a larger screen with a higher resolution.  If you have $800 to spend on a mobile computer, what's the more compelling choice...?  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    For people with higher end needs, there is presumably still Tablet PC, but it's possible to imagine the low end of the Tablet PC market being cannibalized by Origami...
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    I want two of em, another thing too is offer different customizations.  Like be able to change the faceplate, or offer them in different colors.  Make them cool, anmd every kid in the world will want one.
  • The device is pretty much what I expected.  It was very cool to see the form factor that Haiku targets... Nice!  If 3G wireless hardware isn't included on the device, that could be a good thing as it reduces hardware cost and increases synthesis with 3G phones (as long as there are no restrictions from phone manufacturers.)  Let's hope for GPS integration within the device in the future; it's not always convenient to carry around another device.

    Otto referenced the Origami ecosystem which is going to be a big thing...

    Instant on?  Well, it's a tablet pc, i don't see how it would be any different from one.  But Vista improves in this standpoint, so expect to see changes there.  Vista also features superfetch, which this could take advantage of.  Especially with a USB key, for those that are concerned about RAM upgradability.

    For the guy that wasn't fond of this form factor, Otto said the OEM's are going to create Origami devices in this form factor and smaller.  Apple's next V-Pod is suspected to come out with a 4" landscape screen.  Origami will probably be offered in this size someday too.  As Origami matures, you'll probably see more audio-centric, gaming-centric, etc devices.  There will be sub-niches but for now this is a start.

    As for battery consumption, there are some improvements to be made.  Could interlacing save power versus progressive scan on the lcd?  SED screens are "sed" to be coming out in Q4 2007.   That would decrease power consumption by a factor of X but am unsure when SED will hit the optimal point for price/performance for Origami.  What about fuel cells or even OLED screens?

    All in all, a good start.
    Dave
  • Salocin.TEN (www.salocinten.info)Nicolas.NET Checkiemark​ie!
    I have noticed that there was more emphasis on the graphics and resolution of the device for the first half of the video.

    I watched a program on BBC World and they highlighted NVidia managed to make specifically for mobile devices, an entire 3D graphics processor (yes, the same as the full-sized ones for the desktop) as small as a thumbnail! On top of that, there is also a sound card in that little thing!

    Therefore, the graphics processing should not be a problem, and Photoshop can indeed run if NVidia has their way.
  • Can it survive drops to the ground? It better will. How shock-resistent is it?

  • JazJaz From the depths of Wales I come
    Nicolas.NET wrote:
    I have noticed that there was more emphasis on the graphics and resolution of the device for the first half of the video.

    I watched a program on BBC World and they highlighted NVidia managed to make specifically for mobile devices, an entire 3D graphics processor (yes, the same as the full-sized ones for the desktop) as small as a thumbnail! On top of that, there is also a sound card in that little thing!

    Therefore, the graphics processing should not be a problem, and Photoshop can indeed run if NVidia has their way.


    ermm it's not to do with the GPU wether photoshop can run or not, it's down to the CPU and mem
  • As I said yesterday, battery life is key. 3 hours and $1000 isn't going to cut it.... it's sort of no man's land.
  • I'm quite excited about this. As a long time user of PIMs (Palm for example) I know the usefullness of such. This looks to be a great idea.

    However, there is two possible strikes that may steer me away from this:

    Batteries: What sort of batteries does this take? Li-on? Hardwired into the machine so you have to buy a whole new machine when the batteries die? AA/9 volt etc? If they're hardwired, then I won't buy it. I have yet to buy any device, that has hardwired batteries and that includes the Ipod.

    Vista: If this won't run without vista, then that too will stop me. Vista's use of DRM has assured that I won't buy anymore MS based OS from them again. I'm switching to linux as soon as possible.
  • scobleizer wrote:
    ...
    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?


    Can I try one out if I promise to blog about it?

  • KarimKarim Trapped in a world he never made!
    tmarman wrote:
    As I said yesterday, battery life is key. 3 hours and $1000 isn't going to cut it.... it's sort of no man's land.


    Battery life is just one factor.

    Take laptops, for example.  For a long time, vendors did not make laptops that used "desktop" CPUs (i.e. non-mobile parts) because they thought the same as you: who's going to want a laptop that has no "SpeedStep" or mobile power management?  It's going to be hot, heavy, and because the CPU is always going at 100%, it's going to have next to no battery life.

    Well, as it turns out there was a demand for those laptops once they were made.  Why?  Because they were cheap.  Once the price dropped past a certain point, people apparently decided they would just deal with the low battery life, high heat & heavy weight.
  • Is it possible to rotate device around from landscape to portrait in order to take notes in a meeting with OneNote?
  • Richard Forss wrote:
    Is it possible to rotate device around from landscape to portrait in order to take notes in a meeting with OneNote?

    My question exactly. Done right, this might be the 500$ Student Tablet PC Bill Gates mentioned in his first Channel 9 interview (the one with Scoble) Big Smile
  • blowdartblowdart Peek-a-boo
    The BBC puts it better than I do;

    He (Bill Gates) envisioned a gadget that ran all day on a single battery charge, cost less than $500 (£300), had a touch screen and ran games, music and multimedia.

    ....

    Unfortunately, early information about the first Origami device, aka the ultra-portable PC, shows that the reality falls far short of the glossy video and Bill Gates' hopes.


  • When they say 2 to 3 hours of battery life, it probably will be around 1.5 to 2 hours I guess. Any device with such a miserable amount of battery life can hardly be called mobile.

    It will probably fail to break through, just like the Tablet PC.

    Although I know it won't be popular, I must give credit to Microsoft for trying and for pursuing ambitious new projects.

    Can't wait to see Vista...
  • KarimKarim Trapped in a world he never made!
    CSGuy wrote:
    Richard Forss wrote: Is it possible to rotate device around from landscape to portrait in order to take notes in a meeting with OneNote?

    My question exactly. Done right, this might be the 500$ Student Tablet PC Bill Gates mentioned in his first Channel 9 interview (the one with Scoble)


    There aren't a whole lot of pictures showing someone using an Origami in portrait mode... but there's one up on UMPC.com:



    Lower left image shows portrait + keyboard.  Cool!

  • brian.shapirobrian.​shapiro things go on as always
    Karim wrote:
    So finally the wraps come off...

    Biggest disappointment is the resolution.  It's basically a Tablet PC with 800 x 480 resolution.  The hardware scaling will help, but... at the end of the day it's still stuffing 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag...  Having 1024 x 768 on the VGA output will help: you can plug it into a monitor, use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and get some work done.


    Why do you want everything looking extremely tiny on a mobile device? Especially when its touch/pen based? Higher resulution makes sense if you're talking about scalable GUIs like those promised with Vista/XAML. But I don't want a tiny crowded interface on a mini-tablet, which is what you would get on XP with high resolutions
  • Otto,

    I wish Microsoft reached out to the current handtop community before deploying this technology.

    There is a large number of people that have been aspiring for truly mobile PC technology since the first Toshiba Libretto,  Sony Picturebooks, Fujitsu B and P-series, when Palm and the PocketPC came out, the new breed of smartphones such as the Treo, and the new breed of handtop devices such as the Sony U and OQO.

    I'm on Microsoft Mobile PC Advisory Council.
    I own a Sony U.
    I own an OQO.
    And I'm a moderator at handtops.com.

    Although I've been excited to see the Origami announcements, I see several weaknesses in the current designs.

    Derek Brown did a wonderful job in the PPC community, trying to evangelize and get feedback from the community.

    The huge barriers that remain for mobile handtop technology are:
    - Cost
    - Battery life
    - Cellular wireless connectivity
    - Storage (size, NAND storage, etc.)

    Thanks,
    fil
    http://www.handtops.com
    http://www.greyhat.com/sonyu
  • brian.shapirobrian.​shapiro things go on as always
    Karim wrote:


    Battery life is just one factor.

    Take laptops, for example.  For a long time, vendors did not make laptops that used "desktop" CPUs (i.e. non-mobile parts) because they thought the same as you: who's going to want a laptop that has no "SpeedStep" or mobile power management?  It's going to be hot, heavy, and because the CPU is always going at 100%, it's going to have next to no battery life.

    Well, as it turns out there was a demand for those laptops once they were made.  Why?  Because they were cheap.  Once the price dropped past a certain point, people apparently decided they would just deal with the low battery life, high heat & heavy weight.


    Karim not everyone who buys a notebook wants to carry it to the park and use it on park benches or use it on his bed with the power supply unplugged. I have a desktop replacement notebook, I want a notebook so its semi-portable, so I can take it with me when I travel, so I can bring it to libraries with a scanner, etc.  In all cases I take it with me and plug it in somewhere else. I assume people who buy low-end notebooks with low battery life care about the same thing, and don't need it running on batteries most of the time.

    The only market for a mini-tablet is one where you can carry it around without having to plug it in.

    Otherwise its not worth getting. People won't want to replace their notebooks, they'll want to get something to complement it that has mobile capabilities.

    I'll repeat why I haven't bought a tablet, evne though I'd like the functionality: I'm paying more for a less powerful notebook, that would substitute for another notebook. Plus I would only use the tablet functions 5% of the time. With a device like Origami it would be nice to be $500 but if its $1000 its not so critical if it has high battery life. If you can have a device like this with high battery life and is portable, its still a good price range, as something to buy in addition to your notebook/desktop. Otherwise its not worth getting. Thats why battery life is critical.

    I also seriously believe that what Microsoft should be looking at this as is finding a marketable form for a tablet pc. I don't think current full sized tablet pcs will really take off in any major way, I think they need a design like this.
  • Ok, my question, what about Vista? If the first ones are running xp then I wanna wait.

  • JonnyRocks wrote:

    Ok, my question, what about Vista? If the first ones are running xp then I wanna wait.



    Watch the video. Vista will run on them.
  • I bloged on this earlier 

    The dealbreaker for me is ability to use this to give a powerpoin presentation. If it can do that then it is a useful laptop replacement for road trips. Otherwise no deal.

    Second priority is built in GPS support. With that the device is a slam dunk replacement for the proprietary systems that charge $125 a time for maps (4 required to cover just the US)

    The other bizare choice here is to release this ahead of Vista without commiting to some sort of free upgrade scheme for the early adopters. I am not going to pay money for a machine running an O/S scheduled to become obsolete in 6 months.

    That said, this really is going to be a game boy killer and a DVD player killer.

  • Great interview.
    Mr. Berkes constantly used his fingernail. I have an old Fujitsu LifeBook B-142 touchscreen.  I use my fingernail also constantly.
    WE DON'T NEED all those buttons on the perimeter of the screen.
    One button needed: ON-OFF.
    For controls use the screen, it is a touch screen !!!!!
    Make the unit as big as the screen !!! The next generation that he shows at the start of the interview is what they should have developed. 
  • jmacdonagh wrote:
    JonnyRocks wrote:

    Ok, my question, what about Vista? If the first ones are running xp then I wanna wait.



    Watch the video. Vista will run on them.


    85 percent of the questions, comments, concerns, and gripes in this thread were directly addressed in the video. Tongue Out
  • http://www.geek.com/hwswrev/pda/series7/series7.htm We need the size (smaller than notebook), but bigger than a PDA. So we can "Browse", "Telnet", "FTP", "IRC" All that goodness but on the go. But we NEED to type on a nice keyboard. The Psion series 7 was perfect in terms of keyboard and form factor. Please, PLEASE Microsoft, get Psion to give you the series 7, then plug tablet Windows(tm) into it. Then you *really* would have a winner.
  • scobleizer wrote:

    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?

    Yes sir. Please get a video demonstrating the "The Touch Pack" my understanding is this is a new front end GUI/shell type app that sits ontop of the XP tablet pc os provides a "vista" type UI, is it just an application launcher or does it also provide a front end for music and movie playback (i think ive seen this touch pack thing doing mp3's...
  • Why don't these devices all have docking ports by default.  Neither the OQO, DualCor, nor the Origami have them.  I am still dreaming of a system where I sit the device in a cradle and it is immediately hooked up to an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, harddrives, dvd, ethernet, etc. 

    The applications could even detect what mode they are running in and change their UI based on the resolution or something like that.  For example when docked I get the full UI of outlook but when mobile I get a lightweight UI condusive to a small screen.

    That is what I want.  I want a docking cradle!  Then I can put a docking cradle at home, at the office, in my car, etc. 

    And all the devices need to be compatible with the same cradle.  The reason the iPod has so many accessories is that manufactures can be guaranteed that all people with iPods will have the same docking connector.  I see this problem all the time with PocketPC's! Every one out there is incompatibe with the others so manufactures have to build custom hardware for each one and I can imagine that isn't very productive.

    Cheers,
    Clint

  • wtiwti
    yawn,
    sorry, no phone integrated,  no sale.
    Goes back to why you see everyone with a pda with an integrated phone. Unless its highly specialized.

  • KarimKarim Trapped in a world he never made!
    brian.shapiro wrote:

    Why do you want everything looking extremely tiny on a mobile device? Especially when its touch/pen based? Higher resulution makes sense if you're talking about scalable GUIs like those promised with Vista/XAML. But I don't want a tiny crowded interface on a mini-tablet, which is what you would get on XP with high resolutions


    Well Vista is exactly what I had in mind.  Are you going to buy one of these and leave it running XP for the next three years?

    Even if you never went to Vista, I don't think 1024 x 768 would be unusable on a 7-inch display, but YMMV.  You'd be able to view a LOT more web pages without scrolling or messing with hardware scaling settings.  Apps with a lot of palettes & child windows, like Photoshop, or Visual Studio, are somewhat usable at 1024 x 768 -- but 800 x 480?!?  And with more pixels, you'd have a better e-book (ClearType), better gaming, better movie viewing...
  • scobleizer wrote:
    One question was about battery life that didn't get answered to my satisfaction. The team tells me they are getting two to three hours of battery life with the first devices.

    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?


    I don't see any reason why it CAN'T be run in landscape mode but Otto didn't show it running that way in the video.

    What I'd like to know is if these small LCDs will work well with Cleartype, especially rotated 90degrees. I've noticed that if I rotate the desktop into landscape mode on a regular 15.4" laptop Cleartype doesn't work nearly as well.
    That's something I've never heard Bill Hill or his co-workers talk about.

    I wonder if this is a problem with the way LCDs work or just a software problem?
  • KarimKarim Trapped in a world he never made!
    brian.shapiro wrote:
    Karim wrote:

    Battery life is just one factor.

    Take laptops, for example.  For a long time, vendors did not make laptops that used "desktop" CPUs (i.e. non-mobile parts) because they thought the same as you: who's going to want a laptop that has no "SpeedStep" or mobile power management?  It's going to be hot, heavy, and because the CPU is always going at 100%, it's going to have next to no battery life.

    Well, as it turns out there was a demand for those laptops once they were made.  Why?  Because they were cheap.  Once the price dropped past a certain point, people apparently decided they would just deal with the low battery life, high heat & heavy weight.



    Karim not everyone who buys a notebook wants to carry it to the park and use it on park benches or use it on his bed with the power supply unplugged. I have a desktop replacement notebook, I want a notebook so its semi-portable, so I can take it with me when I travel, so I can bring it to libraries with a scanner, etc.  In all cases I take it with me and plug it in somewhere else. I assume people who buy low-end notebooks with low battery life care about the same thing, and don't need it running on batteries most of the time.

    The only market for a mini-tablet is one where you can carry it around without having to plug it in.



    I never said anything about people wanting to carry a notebook to a park...  First off, you seem to be saying there's a valid market for systems with a low battery life, because that's what you bought, and you don't need it running on batteries most of the time, but then you turn around and say the only market for a "mini-tablet" is where that's not true?  Perplexed

    Obviously the Origami has a battery and obviously you can carry it around without plugging it in.  Nobody's saying it doesn't have a battery.  I was responding to the point that "battery life is key" to the success of this thing.  My point was that once you drop below a certain price point, battery life is a factor, but it isn't the KEY factor or deciding factor in purchasing the device.

    brian.shapiro wrote:

    I'll repeat why I haven't bought a tablet, evne though I'd like the functionality: I'm paying more for a less powerful notebook, that would substitute for another notebook. Plus I would only use the tablet functions 5% of the time. 


    Well, I'm not sure that's necessarily true; there are powerful Tablet PCs out there such as the Toshiba M4 and new dual-core M400.  The Compaq TC4200 (which hopefully will get a Core Duo upgrade soon) is no slouch on benchmarks either.

    Not sure how you know you'd use the "tablet functions" only 5% of the time if you haven't ever bought one... Still, at this point Tablet PC isn't for everyone.  Maybe it's not for you....

    brian.shapiro wrote:

    With a device like Origami it would be nice to be $500 but if its $1000 its not so critical if it has high battery life. If you can have a device like this with high battery life and is portable, its still a good price range, as something to buy in addition to your notebook/desktop. Otherwise its not worth getting. Thats why battery life is critical.


    You lost me, sorry.  Big Smile  And how do you define "high battery life?"  Are you saying Origami needs to go all day between recharges to be "worth getting?"  Is 5 hours high?  Is 3?

    These things are really subjective.  Again, my point was that manufacturers missed out on an entire market segment because they overvalued battery life.  If battery life was always "key," Apple would have never sold an iPod Tongue Out

  • I like the form factor -- I think you're on target in that respect.  I've been watching what Sony put out a year or so ago in a slightly larger form factor as a home entertainment/Web Browsing type unit.  As I look at the units in the video, I think this could be the type of thing to have lying around the house for browsing from the couch or controlling your home entertainment equipment.  I'm also thinking healthcare as well -- IMO, the typical tablet format in general is just too big.

    As usual, battery life will be a big concern -- need a nice looking docking station for the quick recharge.

    So, let's see what the manufacturers can come up with...  Hopefully we'll see some interesting takes on this concept at CeBIT...

    cheers...
  • I would like to say that I am really excited by the idea of the this new "ultramobile PC", however it has some serious flaws - besides battery life - that will doom the device before it goes to market.  The first major flaw, is that it is designed for technology currently available to any distributer for mass production, rather than the next wave of technology that will be on the market when this device goes on sale.  While I expect prototypes to use off the shelf equipment, because you want a proof of concept that can be tested rather than deal with the bugs of prototype equipment, planning your release product around such hardware makes your device obsolete before its even released.  If I may be so bold, I would outline what the specs of this device should be:
    • 1366 x 768 7" screen.  This may seem rather high resolution however the device should be aiming to capture the HD market and this will make text much more readable.  In terms of scale check out Dell's high end 800x600 PDAs, the text is basically the same resolution as a paper page and awesome for reading off of, however a PDA is a tad small for reading a book off of - which is the beauty of this Ultramobile.
    • The processor is fine, people go batty over processors, but Transmeta and Intel both produce excellent low voltage processors that will only get better by the time this goes to market.
    • Dedicated graphics chip.  This should be a seperate chip for aiding in video decoding.  A seperate chip will enhance battery life and opens the possibilty of HD decoding.  Of course not all Mfc's will implement this, but those that want to use this device as a home MCE extension will.
    • A new specialized version of Windows or Vista. This is the biggest flaw I see so far.  If they go to market using a full copy of Windows Tablet Edition, they will miss the market by a mile.  This device should be using something with an interface that is something half-way between CE and Media Edition.  Kill the Start button, because it just doesn't work for this kind of device.  Also, this device doesn't need half the overhead that Tablet Edition comes with. 
    • Drop the VGA port.  When they were putting this together they kept picking up their laptop.  First of all Vista is killing VGA, second  this device doesn't need to be connected to a monitor its not a laptop.  If you want to implement a means of connecting it to another screen etcetera, implement a wifi connection to a portable docking station.
    I could go on, but I feel like I am starting to rant, so I will stop.  I think what bugs me the most, is I could build what he was holding right now (sans all the ports) for under $1000.  What, I was hoping to see was a nifty interface that would make this system a bridge between my phone / desktop.  Honestly if this device has halfway decent handwriting recognition, I take this with me everywhere rather than my PDA / Laptop.
  • LaBombaLaBomba Summer

    You should wait for 2G before indulging...

    Battery life is wayyyy to low.

    The next generation model he showed looked wicked.

    Now we're finally at point where it's getting really interesting...ultra mobile, fully functional pc.

    vista on this thing, slide out keyboard, longer batterly life and i'm sold.

  • Nice, but I think I'll wait for the 2nd+ generation ones.

  • Well without UMTS several things in these promo video's just don't make sense. How can a guy walk up a hill take a pic and send it with his UMPC without having UMTS ? Or the lady in the shop using the messenger to chat with her friend about the dress ?

    Well there is always a big gap between what marketing tells you and the reality Wink

    I'm looking forward to see the first through reviews to come online, however for the moment my gadget budget will rather be spent on den Sony eReader

  • TensorTensor Im in yr house upgrading yr family
    Karim wrote:
    You lost me, sorry.    And how do you define "high battery life?"  Are you saying Origami needs to go all day between recharges to be "worth getting?"  Is 5 hours high?  Is 3?




    I would define it, for a device like this, as a working day. 7-8 hours. 2-3 hours doesnt cut it.

    Why a working day? Well, why 74 mins on a CD? Because its a target to aim for that makes sense - not an arbitrary number, a number with solid meaning to people who will actually use the damn thing.
  • I'm surprised the keyboard shown in the year-old video disappeared in the press release. It would be great to have that.

    I became a HPC user 1+ yr ago and am currently using a J720. Brand new, it has a 8+ hr battery life and comes in at 1.1 lbs. It has a 6.5" LCD, too bad it uses DSTN is virtually useless anywhere outside of an office (and even in the office, it is stale compared to the latest greatest "brite" LCD).

    MS, Samsung and Asus, please please please, don't repeat the mistake of HP and other HPC OEMs who priced their HPC at $1k entry-price and targeted (READ: hoped) the corporate folks will lap it up. They did it again with the TabletPC. Fortunately Bill has more sense and set a price range from $500~$1000. I just hope the OEMs have more long term market sense to price their UMPC at a affordable price like $500 or so than repeat the HPC mistake.

    On the keyboard again, if the case cum keyboard combo is bundled as a default accessory, it would make it a great device! Either a USB or BT keyboard would be good enough.

    Actual 8+ hr battery life really enables a mobile device of that size to grow into a different usage model. I just took a flight from LAX to Singapore via HongKong (18hr or so) and was able to use my HPC (Jornada 720) as a book reader along the trip without once needing to recharge. Granted I didn't have it on all the trip, I was never worried about battery life. By the time I reached Singapore my HPC still had 50% batt life! Now try that with a notebook! If a UMPC can do that, I'm sold. Big Smile Big Smile


  • Will this be able to talk to multiple bluetooth devices?

    Typical scenario is in the car, with GPS helping me get to where I'm going, and it talking bluetooth to my phone, that's getting traffic updates.

    ..or perhaps I want to have bluetooth headset to listen to music it's storing.

    is there something that needs to happen at the OS level to allow this, or do OEMs have to put multiple bluetooth transmitters into the device?



  • Paul Brucepbruce see, think, meet
    Oh...my god. Haven't checked out C9 in a while, and man, I was missing out! I've been working on a Car PC that integrates almost all neccessary hardware such that you can just pop it out of your dash and plug it in at home. Pain! Frustration! Arg!!! To get all that hardware (even working with a form factor base) into a unit size that A) doesn't take up noticable space in the car, and B) integrates a touch screen, wireless, CDRW/DVD, GPS on top of the standard set of pc internals.

    This solves everything (given that I buy two docking stations, one for the car to hook up all the ext hardware, and one for in the house). Thank you (Microsoft and Origami Team) once again for bringing a technology to the market that simplifies thing.

    My eyes are all lustery with the thought of all my work in the Car PC market actually being worth something in the end. Good thing I've been developing software for the x86 WinForms scenario. Ahh, imagine taking everything* with you everywhere. Music, maps, TV, movies, podcasts, email, schedule, hahaha!

    p.s. I really hope that they are priced under $1k, otherwise all this excitement is all for not. Retail car pcs have to be affordable.
  • baluptonbalupton I'm a actually a bot.
    2-3 Hours of battery life, to me its a mini laptop.

    Say i'm spending 7hours on a train or I am on the plane.
    I just can't see when 2-3hours would be good for this product.

    I think that its only used for local travel, like a hour on the bus to work, then hook it up to the computer so it can charge and sync, then use it on the way home and hook it up then.

    Personally I couldnt care less about how much it weighs or how big it is, if i need to lug around a extra few kgs for like an extra 4 hours of battery life I would use it, hey make it wiegh 15kg and u can do curls with it Wink
  • baluptonbalupton I'm a actually a bot.
    Also 30minutes through, scoble says I heard it supports surround sound, and then Otto says that yes it has Stereo speakers....

    How is 2.0 the same as 5.1 or 7.1 Perplexed

    Sure SRS EMULATES Surround Sound on 2.0, but its still not surround sound.

    Also earlier he said it has a headphone jack, to do surround sound out u need 3/4 output jacks, or 6/8 rc outs, or a fiber optic out.
    I didn't see any of these on the UMPC.

    So how is this meant to support surround sound! Perplexed
    The thing that i can think of to make it support surround sound is a dock, but then that depends on alot of things.
  • balupton wrote:
    Also 30minutes through, scoble says I heard it supports surround sound, and then Otto says that yes it has Stereo speakers....

    How is 2.0 the same as 5.1 or 7.1

    Sure SRS EMULATES Surround Sound on 2.0, but its still not surround sound.

    Also earlier he said it has a headphone jack, to do surround sound out u need 3/4 output jacks, or 6/8 rc outs, or a fiber optic out.
    I didn't see any of these on the UMPC.

    So how is this meant to support surround sound!
    The thing that i can think of to make it support surround sound is a dock, but then that depends on alot of things.


    Home theaters use several speakers because you need to to give everyone in the room a surround sound effect.

    A good sound card and a decent pair of headphones can provide excellent positional audio. After all, we only have 2 ears.
  • scobleizer wrote:
    One question was about battery life that didn't get answered to my satisfaction. The team tells me they are getting two to three hours of battery life with the first devices.

    Anyone have any other questions that haven't been answered yet?


    Hey Scoble,

    Great to see this little demo.  I'm not sure who else saw that whole Origami video marketing push, but it was a bit wierd/scary and gave a bit of a negative first impression.  But I'm looking much more interested after seeing this video.

    Now, I've watched the whole Tablet PC market for awhile, and I've always seen them cost way more than laptops, and I couldn't see myself doubling the cost of a low-end Dell and getting a Tablet, even though I'm sure it's cool in some scenarios.  For less than or equal to the price of a laptop, that's much better as far as price.  Now, I've seen PPCs retail for anywhere between 250-450 and so it would be quite cool to have this retail at some point this year or next for 500-700 depending on the manufacturer.  I'd think running Vista on this would be overkill, but I could be wrong...

    As a guy who has close to 3 hr daily commute to NYC, it is a very valid business scenario to have a miniature laptop/device around this size for my own development (VS.NET, etc.), movies (Movielink is pretty cool for that), perhaps music (although my iPod does that well), and the occasional game (sodoku, or even an occasional AOE II if that could work).

    However, I need at least 4 hr battery life (1 hr just in case of heavier processing, movie watching), a mini keyboard to hook up (USB/Bluetooth, whatever), and a decent HDD/RAM setup and I don't care if it had barebones Win2k or XP Tablet (sans Themes) as long as it's pretty fast.

    Does this appear to do this?  The "Does it run Photoshop" question is definitely one I'd like to see fleshed out more.  Also, what if...I'd like to set up a mini USB/bluetooth mouse or whatever?  Hey, with a 3 hour commute, I do carry more books and materials than your avg commuter, and I am hardly alone in doing that.  Any thoughts?
  • Snappy! wrote:

    I'm surprised the keyboard shown in the year-old video disappeared in the press release. It would be great to have that.



    Manufacturers will offer accessories. These first pictures of just of the units themselves.
  • spoofnozzlespoofnozzle Bite my shiney metal a$$!

    Ho-hum...

    Another piece of junk for rampant consumers to lose in their toy collection, once the usual 6mths of fad-factor wears off...

    SEND IN THE NEXT SUCKER PLEASE !!

  • baluptonbalupton I'm a actually a bot.
    kettch wrote:
    balupton wrote:Also 30minutes through, scoble says I heard it supports surround sound, and then Otto says that yes it has Stereo speakers....

    How is 2.0 the same as 5.1 or 7.1

    Sure SRS EMULATES Surround Sound on 2.0, but its still not surround sound.

    Also earlier he said it has a headphone jack, to do surround sound out u need 3/4 output jacks, or 6/8 rc outs, or a fiber optic out.
    I didn't see any of these on the UMPC.

    So how is this meant to support surround sound!
    The thing that i can think of to make it support surround sound is a dock, but then that depends on alot of things.


    Home theaters use several speakers because you need to to give everyone in the room a surround sound effect.

    A good sound card and a decent pair of headphones can provide excellent positional audio. After all, we only have 2 ears.


    Surround sound effect is not 2 channel.
    You cannot achieve this with only 2 channels - Left and Right, you need Left, Right, Center, Rear Left, Rear Right - At least.

    There are multiple speakers so sounds can be located.
    So with a 5.1 system I can tell exactly where the sounds are coming from, like say in star wars you can hear the spaceship come up behind you and then go infront as it does on the screen.
    You can hear the bullets in the matrix movies fly past you.
    You just can't do this with simply a left and right channel.

  • will I ever be Visual Studio on this? or any other C/C++ compiler?

  • JSMinchJSMinch 38911 BASIC BYTES FREE
    Nice job on the interview.

    I think I'm beginning to agree with the "jack-of-all-trades" school.  What exactly is it for?  I know I could watch a movie on it, but that means pluggin it into my PC and transfering the movie then watching and deleting it then doing it again the next time I want to watch a movie.  And after watching the movie I'd have to shut it down really quickly because the battery would be nearly dead (couldn't watch "The Godfather" at all, it would die right after Sonny did).

    I think it would be great as "portable Internet" but have a hard time finding people who agree that it should have integraded EDGE (or whatever) connectivity.  I know it's all propriatary, but I don't want to rely on my cell phone being present/charged if I'm going to use this thing throughout my day to connect to the Internet.  Maybe M$ could have spent some of it's time trying to get the cell phone companies to agree on a wireless Internet standard.  It could be the HHGG if it could stand on its own, but it seems that you have to connect it to something to get it to do anything interesting.

    I also wonder why Microsoft released it now, less than a year (supposidly) before the release of Vista.  That seems to me to be one more strike against people buying it right away (the other being a distrust of first generation devices), and if it doesn't sell a lot right away the apps and other goodies won't appear and there will be no good reason to buy it later on.
  • Wow... people seem to forget that Microsoft's a software company, not a hardware company.

    They're not just going to dive right in with a "killer" like iPod or PSP or Xbox; they're a lot more patient with this than that. All they did was to promote the concept and hype the first generation. There's no point in comparing it to Apple's killer products or suggesting they "learn from them".


    It isn't a product in itself, so there's no point making a fuss about the specs of the first generation products.

    No kidding, 800*480 is tiny, 2 hour battery life is horrible and I'd never buy one of these first machines, but that doesn't mean that the class sucks.

    Just wait 'til Sony or someone makes a UMPC a couple years down the road. That'll be the real success of the Origami project.


    And yes, believe me, there will be people who hate it but there'll also be people who will absolutely love it. It's just dumb to say that they shouldn't be trying to fill in gaps.

  • JSMinchJSMinch 38911 BASIC BYTES FREE
    The UPMC is a great concept, but the history of computing is littered with poorly implemented really good ideas that never saw that light of a second generation because the first one failed so badly.

    M$ is a software company, but it took the lead in this project, "partnering" with hardware companies to decide the form factor and capabilities of the UMPC (Otto Berkes does work for Microsoft, after all).  Individual manufacturers may, of course, provide whatever features they wish, but the original "vision" appears to be a creation of Microsoft.
  • I for one would like to thank the Hardware Makers, whomever they turn out to be, for showing us what doesn't work. M$ may have pushed this pet project into being, but the hardware guys are the ones that gambled here.

    As far as the product itself, I'm subscribing to the 'device not needed' theory. Too small for x, too large for y. Battery life was the final nail in the  coffin.


    I also watched a person, who apparently new the specs, and was familiar with the device give a demo. It was quite sad to see so much hype surrounding a product, so much energy to launch, and such a horribly impossible product to actually USE. The person doing the demo had to constantly stop the conversation, look very closely at the screen, and VERY carefully peck with a stylus.

    Sorry, here's the death list:

    1) battery life
    2) usability, actually the lack thereof
    3) no media drive
    4) no keyboard (thats usable)

    If you can't watch a full movie, or use it like a phone, or even type on it... Is it still a computer ?
  • One thing I believe will make this PC form factor extremely popular, is if it is accompanied by software that promotes the broad use of electronic paper and its distribution. Say e.g. I’m a student, and I would like the notes that my friend Joe took in class. It would be great if Joe could right click on his notes, select the menu command, “Send Document”, specify the pages in his notes he would like to send, then specify the method he would like to send the notes (via Bluetooth, an Internet file routing service, WiFi, email, etc.). When Joe does this, I would receive a notification on my PC that Joe would like to communicate with me, and that he has a file that he would like to send. I could then accept the file, and have a copy of Joe’s notes on my PC. Now when Joe sends me his notes, he could have the option of sending it to me as a file for the application he is using; an XML file that could be viewed and maybe marked up in a special application that is part of Windows; or as a jpeg file. The special Windows application that allows for the viewing of the suggested XML file, could allow annotations to be made by users in layers – like in Photoshop. The XML file therefore could originate from any program, and allow annotations to be made by various users as it is passed back and forth - among the users. Users could undo or peel back the annotations made in the course of the mark up of the document.

     

    The above actually has mass applicability as it could be used by doctors and other professionals exchanging information about their clients, and commenting on the information as they do so. (The above could also do very well in the consumer market, and it would be great if similar software could be available on Pocket PCs, Smartphones, etc.) In other words, the above could make the idea of using physical paper quaint.

  • I will admit i'm a big Mac person, but i do love the concept of the UMPC. I had no idea that Microsoft was even working on this concept until i saw the Biz-news late last week. It's too bad that the flip-out keyboard (red/white model) is just a prototype that is a couple of years down the road (from what i have read). If i can download iTunes and ship over my Mp3, then i will definitely get this. Do you think this will happen? from the way this Otto guy was talking, you can run Windows Apps no problem. This would be perfect for me as a student and a soon to be teacher. As many have said, 2nd and 3rd gens wiill improve it leaps and bounds. I hope this wakes up Apple and gets them in the game!
  • WindmillerWindmiller aDDICTED mEMBER
    I think this device is perfect for those that want a mobile PC around the house but dont want to spend $1000.00 for a Tablet PC. We have been using our HTPC to quickly access the web for movie reviews, information, weather but with one of these it would be perfect!

    I am getting one as soonas the price drops below $500.00.
  • Barry Andrew HallPace What do you see?

    I was looking forward to getting a tablet until I saw the UMPC...

    Its looking like the daddy, the only thing stopping me tearing my hair out trying to get one in April will be the battery life...

    Will just have to wait I guess because the amount stick I would give it would mean a claim of 2.5-3 hours would be more like a realistic 2 hours to me...

  • rhm wrote:
    That's what you haven't learned from Apple. Consumers don't want to think about "do I buy the Samsung one or the HP one?" and these marginal devices are never a big part of Samsung or HP's portfolio so they don't market them agresively enough. Didn't you learn anything from the Tablet PC?


    One case where they DID make it all themselves is the 360, and lo and behold, there were shortages.  Microsoft is about platforms, not products.
  • remlover wrote:
    I hope this wakes up Apple and gets them in the game!


    Competition is always healthy.  But you just know that Apple will market it as being the "first of its kind", hehe.
  • They look great, to a certain extent.  The battery life wouldn't really do it's self any justice I'd much prefer to stick to my laptop but i'm eager to see what is developed from this idea, very interesting indeed.
  • kettch wrote:
    jmacdonagh wrote:
    JonnyRocks wrote:

    Ok, my question, what about Vista? If the first ones are running xp then I wanna wait.



    Watch the video. Vista will run on them.


    85 percent of the questions, comments, concerns, and gripes in this thread were directly addressed in the video.


    Ok so i am a big butt head. It's hard to always catch everyhting. So thats awesome. My main concern is the new TCP/IP stack and power handling in vista. Should help.
  • DuckDuck Electronic Medical Duck
    Tablet Kiosk has online ordering available...EO V7110

    The name has changed for the UMPC too. 

    Tablet Kiosk has the website set up to take orders and you can customize some available options.  For accessories you can be put on the "I want" list and they will notify you when the additional UMPC accessories are available. 

     
    Press Release here...nice quote from Bill Mitchell VP of Mobile Platforms at MS too..
     
    http://www.tabletkiosk.com/news/index.htm

    There are also a couple special offers on the page that upgrade the unit in ram and a couple other features. 
  • ArchimatrixArchimatrix Live Free or Die!
    Nice Gadget,
    but I stick with Dasher on this one: People need a device that cosolidates the existing mobile mess they have.
    I carry 2 to 3 cell phones, a pocket PC and a laptop, plus numerous adapters, memory cards, usb peripherals. The usual mobile heavy bag.

    I was hoping the Origami concept would enable us to do away with some of this stuff.
    Like all the chargers: Have istandard usb charging port for external devices
    Or the many adapters: have a nice aray of memory card slots
    Or support an external display without needing a cradle, which is just one more thing for the mobile bag: As a trainer connectivity to a projector is a big thing.

    And have more connectivity
    More connectivity: Wireless is great, Blue Tooth hasn't really worked that well unless all devices are bought as a package and are in-tune with each other, but what about an on-board Eathernet card for higher throughput when you are near a connection, or Infrared that's been working great for basic walk-up computing.

    I'd also like to see a ruggedized version as this device is more likely to be accidentally dropped (ie harder to hold with one hand than a pocketPC, yet small enough to do it anyway), but those are hardware vendor decisions.

    I was looking at the Ultra Mobile PC as a solution for my needs which are an ultra mobile PC, but generation1 doesn't provide a viable alternative, so we'll see what other hardware comes out instead. Currently the VISTA Laptops with secondary display support for quick access to email and contacts look good, but we'll see what actually hits the market.

  • Any info on the screen input hardware?  Since it is using tablet pc, I am assuming that it has the 'digitzer' device class?  I am wondering if my security application will work on it, since it works on most tabletpc.   http://www.frontmotion.com/FMLoginTPE (I am currently working on a new version with better recognition).   Is there someone I can contact? Thanks!

  • SAMSUNG's UMPC is arriving this month end.. as expected the price is high...higher that most laptops... not worth buying it... crazy!!!Perplexed

  • Has anyone bought one of these yet?

    I'm considering the Samsung Q1, but I hesitate because no uPC I've seen has a PC Card slot. I want to be online everywhere I go, so I have a Sprint mobile broadband PCMCIA card. A uPC seems ideal for all the travel I do, but if I can't be online, it becomes useless.

    Other than the online issue, does anyone have any feedback on how useful these things are?

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