Samsung has announced the first device designed around Microsoft's Origami project. The company demonstrated the new handheld computer at Cebit
The device, falling somewhere between a tablet PC and a PDA and running a special edition of Windows XP, measures about 15cm by 20 cm, or half the size of a sheet of copier paper, and is known officially as an ultramobile device. Samsung's product, called the Q1, runs on a 900MHz Intel Celeron microprocessor and has 500MB of RAM.
The Q1 boasts 802.11 A/G and Bluetooth connections, and runs an instant-on multimedia player so users don't have to launch the full XP operating system to watch a video.
The device is in the final stages of development and it's not known exactly when it will be available or at what price. It will be discussed further at Cebit press conferences on Thursday by Intel and Microsoft.
Microsoft has been cagey about Origami's details since news of it first leaked out two weeks ago, when the company posted minimal details on a website. Early reports speculated that Origami might be a new hardware product from Microsoft, but it turned out Microsoft is providing the software for a device that will be build by partners like Samsung using Intel processors.
The ultramobile system is hardly a new concept. At Microsoft's WinHEC conference last April, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates revealed plans for such a lightweight machine. At the time, he said Microsoft and its partners would launch the product in 2006.
PopCap Games plans to announce several games for the devices at Cebit on Friday, including "Bejeweled 2," "Zuma" and "Bookworm." Trial versions of the games will be pre-installed on Origami devices from several hardware makers, and customers will be able to buy the full games from Microsoft's MSN Games portal, according to PopCap.
Pharos Science and Applications will launch GPS software for Origami systems at Cebit, the company said. Pharos already offers GPS software for Microsoft Windows Mobile devices.