Was Origami overhyped?

Yes. The hype got too big too fast.

Who was responsible? Dustin Hubbard, Group Manager over on the Mobile PC team. He explains what happened on the Origami team blog. He tells how he didn’t plan for the hype to get so out of control.

I was on several radio stations this morning pimping my book and a few of the hosts asked me about Origami. One said “I heard about it on Paul Harvey.” (Paul Harvey is probably the most respected radio voice in America).

And, with that, this will be my last Origami post until I get my hands on a production unit.

Update: long-time industry analyst Amy Wohl writes that my Channel 9 interview with Otto is a “kind of anti-hype.” Thanks Amy!

174 thoughts on “Was Origami overhyped?

  1. Microsoft should just hire this ‘Christopher Coulter’, would save alot of headaches. I like the guy.

  2. Microsoft should just hire this ‘Christopher Coulter’, would save alot of headaches. I like the guy.

  3. I haven’t been back here since my post. Decided to check in since it seemed to create a wee firestorm.

    >>>You’re the EEJIT who bought something you obviously didn’t want.

    Uh, no. It was GIVEN TO ME FOR FREE by Nokia.

    Now, if Samsung or TabletKiosk would like to give me a UMPC for free… hell, I’d even settle for a Founder (but God, not at 256MB RAM, no one should have to suffer that!!).

  4. I haven’t been back here since my post. Decided to check in since it seemed to create a wee firestorm.

    >>>You’re the EEJIT who bought something you obviously didn’t want.

    Uh, no. It was GIVEN TO ME FOR FREE by Nokia.

    Now, if Samsung or TabletKiosk would like to give me a UMPC for free… hell, I’d even settle for a Founder (but God, not at 256MB RAM, no one should have to suffer that!!).

  5. After reading every single comment I wanted to scream at this screen:
    COME ON GUYS! IT’S WORTH THE HYPE!

    Okay.. now I’m about to calm down. There are … points to be mentioned again and again:
    - Better input: DialKeys is a decent way of replacing the Tablet PC’s pen based input.
    - Better usability: Please read Otto’s blogs at Origami Project’s website (http://origamiproject.com/default.aspx) and discover the new features offered on the Origami platform.
    - Better price: The price of a similar laptop or tablet computer available is almost 2x the expected Origami price. Top match in the available devices is Motion Computing’s LS800 Tablet PC, which costs about US$1700 and offers similar user experience. Come on.. How can you ignore the price?

    I see the first-gen origamis as niche as the Nokia 770. Origami will be a great hit and change the face of mobile computing if it hits the shelves with a US$500> price. It doesn’t offer something “unseen” but it offers an optimized mobile pc and that’s worth the hype.

    And people who are against Scoble and criticize him for “overhyping origami”: COME ON! Don’t tell me you don’t know Scoble’s title? It’s “technical evangelist” and it’s his “job” to create all the hype. IMHO he’s very very good at it :)

    Cheers!

  6. After reading every single comment I wanted to scream at this screen:
    COME ON GUYS! IT’S WORTH THE HYPE!

    Okay.. now I’m about to calm down. There are … points to be mentioned again and again:
    - Better input: DialKeys is a decent way of replacing the Tablet PC’s pen based input.
    - Better usability: Please read Otto’s blogs at Origami Project’s website (http://origamiproject.com/default.aspx) and discover the new features offered on the Origami platform.
    - Better price: The price of a similar laptop or tablet computer available is almost 2x the expected Origami price. Top match in the available devices is Motion Computing’s LS800 Tablet PC, which costs about US$1700 and offers similar user experience. Come on.. How can you ignore the price?

    I see the first-gen origamis as niche as the Nokia 770. Origami will be a great hit and change the face of mobile computing if it hits the shelves with a US$500> price. It doesn’t offer something “unseen” but it offers an optimized mobile pc and that’s worth the hype.

    And people who are against Scoble and criticize him for “overhyping origami”: COME ON! Don’t tell me you don’t know Scoble’s title? It’s “technical evangelist” and it’s his “job” to create all the hype. IMHO he’s very very good at it :)

    Cheers!

  7. Just as a minor data point…I DO use my laptop on a couch at home. Specifically, my big papasan chair, with my feet up on the coffee table, and my laptop on my lap. Kicked back, relaxed. I have no problems talking or interacting with other folks when I’m home either.

    I take it to meetings, no problems. I take it on planes, no problems, (and it’s a 17″ PowerBook, small it ain’t)

    This whole “you can’t use a laptop anywhere but a desk” schtick is tired Table Marketing.

  8. Just as a minor data point…I DO use my laptop on a couch at home. Specifically, my big papasan chair, with my feet up on the coffee table, and my laptop on my lap. Kicked back, relaxed. I have no problems talking or interacting with other folks when I’m home either.

    I take it to meetings, no problems. I take it on planes, no problems, (and it’s a 17″ PowerBook, small it ain’t)

    This whole “you can’t use a laptop anywhere but a desk” schtick is tired Table Marketing.

  9. but really only for the most technically adept

    Eh? Laptops are pretty mainstream by now, I see friends that (can’t find the Control Panel and haven’t turned on Cleartype in years) on WiFi at Starbucks all the live long day. Commoditization of software and hardware eventually made laptops mainstream (took eons however).

    So you are saying, Laptops and WiFi are only for the “technically adept”, but a convoluted PDAish-touchy-feely virtual-keyboard with a new touch UI concept (that also uses WiFi) is for the mainstream? You have it exactly backwards. PDAs and Tablets, however well-intentioned, just don’t have the input methods picture perfect. It’s the geek PDA crowd to which this will appeal. A new touch input UI, however easy, still requires new learning and a restructure.

    first generation UMPCs that were revealed at CeBIT are a step in that direction

    Translated: ignore the first round. Gotta love the multiple ‘steps in that direction’ that it takes to get something Microsoft-influenced to ever catch on. Do one thing well and simple, Apple and Zen of Palm. The Microsoft fat-client scenario makes it more useful, but less used. Irony that.

    do not take their PCs with them in their cars, to the mall, or even to their couch.

    It has nothing to do with “being mobile”. It’s more of the world-view outlook sort, mainstream consumers do NOT make the CPU (in whatever form) the central focus in their lives. And most cellphone Smartphones are only used for voice. Becoming more “mobile” won’t get you any more customers. Make it more mobile? Fine. But you also make it more complex for the mainstream. I think a lesson in basic anthropology is more apt than simple form-factor changing.

    you immediatley see the vision of the future and the advantages seem self evident

    Dude, come to Peoria sometime. Your Redmond-hazed ‘self-evident’ world-view, doesn’t exactly play on Main Street. “Visions of the future”, oh pluuuuuzze. Drop the SciFi channel mumbo jumbo.

    But here’s the roadmap…

    It’s doomed first round for sure, and then next round will be slow adoptional before Vista becomes mainstream enough. Press already thumbing noses, and analysts are ‘platform long term’, bloggers are ‘it’s too expensive and battery life sucks’. OEMs will dance the dance for awhile, dropping off until only a few leaders decide it’s a worthy investment. Similar to Pocket PC, tons of OEMs, most drop out, leaving basically HP and Dell. Microsoft will continue on morphing it in the Tablet PC platform mode, bailing it (and OEMs and ISVs) out.

  10. but really only for the most technically adept

    Eh? Laptops are pretty mainstream by now, I see friends that (can’t find the Control Panel and haven’t turned on Cleartype in years) on WiFi at Starbucks all the live long day. Commoditization of software and hardware eventually made laptops mainstream (took eons however).

    So you are saying, Laptops and WiFi are only for the “technically adept”, but a convoluted PDAish-touchy-feely virtual-keyboard with a new touch UI concept (that also uses WiFi) is for the mainstream? You have it exactly backwards. PDAs and Tablets, however well-intentioned, just don’t have the input methods picture perfect. It’s the geek PDA crowd to which this will appeal. A new touch input UI, however easy, still requires new learning and a restructure.

    first generation UMPCs that were revealed at CeBIT are a step in that direction

    Translated: ignore the first round. Gotta love the multiple ‘steps in that direction’ that it takes to get something Microsoft-influenced to ever catch on. Do one thing well and simple, Apple and Zen of Palm. The Microsoft fat-client scenario makes it more useful, but less used. Irony that.

    do not take their PCs with them in their cars, to the mall, or even to their couch.

    It has nothing to do with “being mobile”. It’s more of the world-view outlook sort, mainstream consumers do NOT make the CPU (in whatever form) the central focus in their lives. And most cellphone Smartphones are only used for voice. Becoming more “mobile” won’t get you any more customers. Make it more mobile? Fine. But you also make it more complex for the mainstream. I think a lesson in basic anthropology is more apt than simple form-factor changing.

    you immediatley see the vision of the future and the advantages seem self evident

    Dude, come to Peoria sometime. Your Redmond-hazed ‘self-evident’ world-view, doesn’t exactly play on Main Street. “Visions of the future”, oh pluuuuuzze. Drop the SciFi channel mumbo jumbo.

    But here’s the roadmap…

    It’s doomed first round for sure, and then next round will be slow adoptional before Vista becomes mainstream enough. Press already thumbing noses, and analysts are ‘platform long term’, bloggers are ‘it’s too expensive and battery life sucks’. OEMs will dance the dance for awhile, dropping off until only a few leaders decide it’s a worthy investment. Similar to Pocket PC, tons of OEMs, most drop out, leaving basically HP and Dell. Microsoft will continue on morphing it in the Tablet PC platform mode, bailing it (and OEMs and ISVs) out.

  11. Or, instead of the hype being too much, maybe the product was too little.

    I mean, come on. It’s basically a re-branded tablet PC with a 7″ screen.

    That’s it.

    The “hype issue” was that only thatit just made it more of a bigger embarrassment for Microsoft. Without the hype, it would been just another tablet intro which the market ignored.

  12. Or, instead of the hype being too much, maybe the product was too little.

    I mean, come on. It’s basically a re-branded tablet PC with a 7″ screen.

    That’s it.

    The “hype issue” was that only thatit just made it more of a bigger embarrassment for Microsoft. Without the hype, it would been just another tablet intro which the market ignored.

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  14. Dustin, there is a technical term for people who walk around major cities engrossed on their portable electronic devices:

    “Pedestrian Fatalities”

    And I know this is a shock to those in the PacNorWest, but in some parts of the country, we get *direct sunlight* most of the year. Yes, all the brightness, no clouds in the way. There’s not a backlight made that can be used in a portable form factor that can compete with that.

  15. Dustin, there is a technical term for people who walk around major cities engrossed on their portable electronic devices:

    “Pedestrian Fatalities”

    And I know this is a shock to those in the PacNorWest, but in some parts of the country, we get *direct sunlight* most of the year. Yes, all the brightness, no clouds in the way. There’s not a backlight made that can be used in a portable form factor that can compete with that.

  16. @Dustin Hubbard

    Is there a public for all of this? Though I agree that a laptop isn’t completely mobile. I think we have a cellphone for that.

  17. @Dustin Hubbard

    Is there a public for all of this? Though I agree that a laptop isn’t completely mobile. I think we have a cellphone for that.

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