Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Origami 2.0 Looks Neat

If anyone's reading tech sites, CES is the "happening thing" on the web. The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) showcases some of the best in present and future consumer electronics and this year has been no different. Among a lot of things, Microsoft celebrated Bill Gates' last day at office and presented a video of all the people talking to him. But I found another interesting thing that Microsoft has been showing at the CES. Its the Origami 2.0 and by the look, its a very nice looking thing.

Microsoft's interface for the UMPC market is called Origami Project and I had last year seen a UMPC with Vista installed, showing the Origami 1.0 experience. Its the Aero-like UI available for Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPC)  and I liked the interface quite a lot. The Origami 2.0 is an upgrade to the original UI experience and will be available in mid-2008 according to Microsoft.

The following are some screenshots from the origami development team's blog:

The second screenshot called the Origami™ Now, looks pretty good and seems to be have lots of data on a single screen like a normal desktop would have. Its also nicely arranged and all the equally spaced transparent components look really well made.

Bill Gates also talked about Microsoft concentrating on touch and speech based interfaces and I hope Microsoft will really concentrate on those. It really makes user-interaction faster and fun (think Wii). Origami 2.0 will surely be a good learning experience and lesson learnt on this can be brought to desktop or other places like Surface Computer and the like.

The thing I liked about Origami 1.0 was that it was pretty fast and didn't seem heavy, although it had effects and transparency. But what I would like the Origami 2.0 to have is a touch interface, that can be used without the stylus, like you can use the iPhone. If buttons are made larger (size of a finger) and if windows can be shuffled like pages of a book, I would be extremely excited to install the Origami 2.0 on the Vista UMPC.

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