Borigami becomes eXboX

Jingshun Road, Nasty Traffic Because They’ve Closed the Airport Expressway for a VIP Visitor
0900 hrs.

As suggested recently in these pages, Microsoft would we well advised to give up reinventing the iPod wheel with it’s Origami product and instead putting its efforts toward morphing the platform into a portable XboX.

Well, according to Good Morning Silicon Valley today, that’s apparently what Microsoft is doing. The Softies have shifted some strategic resources into the effort – all the top people from their gaming side – and are working with the boys from Transmeta on architecture. GMSV says this is clearly a high priority project in the organization.

Now all they have to do is come up with something that kicks the PlayStation Portable. As the Sony tightens up its software to shut out hacks and tweaks that are the delight of so many key users, MS has an opening to exploit. Now the only questions are “when?” “what?” and “will the darn thing be any good on the first go around?”

All of this underscores our thinking on Origami – it is not a product, but a platform around which to create products that focus on niche markets. To see Origami – and ultraportables – as anything else will be to watch them all join the Newton, the Betamax, and other products at the bottom of The Chasm between early adopters and the mass maket.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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