Microsoft to unveil iPod Rival?


Microsoft console
For months there have been rumours of a new Microsoft product, reportedly known as “Origami” that aims to rival Apple’s iPod multimedia set. Microsoft finally announced today that the device will be officially unveiled at the Cebit technology exhibition in Hanover, Germany, which runs from 9th to 15th of March.

Origami is thought be a handheld set with a touch sensitive screen, wireless internet, and capable of playing music, videos and games. The device will be launched in 2007 with a starting price somewhere between $800 and $1000.

Details of the device apart, particularly interesting, are the circumstances surrounding its launch.

Until recently, Microsoft had refused to confirm or deny that they were working on Origami, though there were strong hints from Robert Scoble (a well-known blogger who works for Microsoft) that a handheld set was under development.

Previously, a promotional video featuring Origami was mysteriously “leaked”, and appeared on a website, which apparently has links to Microsoft. The video, later confirmed by Microsoft as being authentic and at least a year old, shows people playing games, writing notes, listening to music, sending pictures, and using an internet navigational service.

Another twist to the saga was the discovery at the beginning of March of an official “teaser” web site,, which hinted at some of the capabilities of Origami, and appeared to suggest an imminent, forthcoming announcement.

Indeed, the actual timing of today’s official announcement by Microsoft was likely no coincidence either, coming on the same day that Apple launched it’s iPod Hi – Fi, a speaker system capable of integrating portable music players in living room sound systems. There’s certainly no love lost between Microsoft and Apple, and no doubt Microsoft were trying to steal some of its arch-rival’s thunder.

The whole saga smacks of another crass attempt by Microsoft at viral marketing. We have to admit though; the circumstances surrounding the launch have caused quite a stir.

5 reviews or comments

mck Says: March 3, 2006 at 9:10 pm

Hmm, it looks cool, but it’s one of those things I’d like to play around with in the store, not actually buy.

I’m going to hold out for the real iPod Video. :)

P.S. it’s YouTube, not YourTube. :P

lexia Says: March 3, 2006 at 9:19 pm

The whole Origami project looks interesting. I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see. The marketing campaign is being played to a tee though. The teaser vids at Project Origami are good.

I also saw on the wires, that Intel are due to make an announcement on the 7th about an Ultra-Mobile PC-type gadget. I assume it’s something along the lines of this Origami project.

Ruck Zuck Says: April 17, 2006 at 1:20 pm

So you saw this gadget in Hanover? Well, Hannover is spelled with two n’s. But do not worry. Fine magazines like “pcworld” (cough) make the same mistake. This is how readers can distinguish between original work, by people who actually went to the Cebit in Hannover, and the derivative blurbs by the rest. Gotcha!

Paz Says: April 17, 2006 at 2:03 pm

haha well thanks for the comment! Yes, Hanover is the UK spelling. I lived in Hamelin (of the Pied Piper fame), very close to Hanover for 6 years, but the Germans spelt that wrong too (Hameln). Also I lived near Munich for 4 years; and they spelt that differently: München.

I had a fantastic time in Germany, but I still use the UK spellings.

So yeah.. you got me that time!!


Al Says: April 17, 2006 at 4:04 pm

My fault this, I wasn’t at Cebit (though will be next year fingers crossed), I published the above post that Paz sent to me and if he says he was there then that’s good enough for me.

Thanks for pointing it out Ruck, will now slap Paz around the head till he can spell propar :)

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