Friday, March 10, 2006

Origami Backlash


In this age of the 24 hour news cycle, it's a bit late for me to be poking fun at Microsoft's new "Origami" initiative (a.k.a. UMPC). The negative reviews are already pouring in. But this picture was just too perfect. (Here's some more origami dinos.) It's just yet another MS attempt to shoehorn a full version of Windows, or something superficially close to it, into a small(ish) form factor, and convince everybody it's just the coolest thing ever. If it's not a clunky touchscreen laptop running WinXP, it's a clunky PDA running WinCE. Look, It's Windows. It doesn't scale down very well. PDA users don't want to navigate through five levels of start menu just to do anything useful. Everybody keeps explaining this, but Microsoft isn't listening. Whenever they announce they've discovered an unsuspected new market niche, the world just rolls its eyes. (AutoPC, anyone?) Which is all fine, really. I'd hate to see MS dominate and crush any new markets.

I could be wrong, of course. Maybe there's a huge legion of people out there who've been secretly carrying real bricks around all day, unbeknownst to me and for reasons of their own, and they'll all jump at the chance to upgrade to an electronic model. Could be, I guess. Or maybe hardcore Star Trek fans will decide they look like something Captain Picard would've lugged around circa 1988 and have to buy one for their very own. Who knows? One thing, though. If you're going to do one of those "viral marketing" stunts where you get the media to hype your ultra-mysterious upcoming announcement, it's best if the product itself isn't a big, obvious disappointment. I haven't seen so much hype since the Segway.

I was going to write a little transition here, comparing MS to the Bush administration, but I don't actually dislike Microsoft that much. The analogy seemed a bit forced anyway. So let's all just agree that a transition just happened, and we're talking about politics for a moment. Just for a moment, though, and only because I wanted to pass along today's crop of political blog entries I liked, including ones from panopticonman, To the point, Republicans for Satan, and Building a Pyramid.

Other stuff I figured I'd braindump while I'm at it:

  • Everything sounds better in French. Including this post about the latest Cassini discoveries, titled Encélade le magnifique
  • I was looking for any more info about that interesting mp3 of Iranian music I mentioned a few posts back, but I think this isn't the same person as before. Interesting site, though: Peyman and his Tonbak.
  • An article at James Randi's site about yet another con artist preying on gullible religious people. (Originally found on Y! SCOX)
  • It'll be a while before the new mars orbiter's really open for business, but here are a couple of navigational images from during the approach to Mars, to tide you over, or whatever.
  • And a Portland food blog I came across, ExtraMSG.com. One point, though, regarding the top story. As much as I like hummus (to the despair of certain people), I have to admit it doesn't photograph well. So maybe you'll want to skip that part and go directly to the chocolate. Sahagun gets a mention, along with a number of local chocolatiers I haven't quite gotten to yet. Now I think I'll have to make that a new personal goal. Mmmm.... chocolate....


1 comment :

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