March 3, 2006 10:00 AM PST

Week in review: Unfolding Origami

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Despite hints at big announcements, Microsoft offered little more than whispered details while Apple Computer tried to crank up the volume on its iPod line.

Microsoft updated the Web site for its secretive Origami Project, offering a more elaborate tease, but also confirming key details about the Windows-based minitablet.

"I am everywhere you are, but never in the way," reads the cryptic text of the site, with pictures showing a mountain peak and a subway. "Who am I?...Find out 3.9.06."

However, right-clicking outside the flash animation of the main Web page and viewing the source code provides this: "Origami Project: the Mobile PC running Windows XP."

Although Microsoft continues to play somewhat coy, sources have provided a pretty clear picture of the minitablet devices. They will carry Microsoft's software, but be made by several other companies, sources have said. They will also be larger than a typical handheld computer, with at least some of the devices using a roughly 7-inch screen.

Rumors about the device have been swirling during the past week, but more details are not expected until later in March, likely at the CeBit show that takes place March 9 to 15 in Hannover, Germany, sources say.

Meanwhile, Apple unveiled the "home stereo quality" iPod Hi-Fi, which CEO Steve Jobs said is of higher quality than other speakers available today. The large speaker system comes with a built-in iPod dock, as well as an auxiliary port to connect an iPod Shuffle or other device.

"It's really a home stereo reinvented," Jobs said. "It's home stereo reinvented for the iPod age."

The iPod Hi-Fi sells for $349 and can plug directly into the wall or run with six "D" batteries.

Apple also introduced its third Intel-based Mac, a revamped version of its petite Mac Mini. The new Mac Mini is available in two models: The low-end model sells for $599 and comes with a 1.5GHz Intel Solo single-core chip, a 60GB hard drive and a combo drive that can play DVDs and burn CDs.

Some CNET News.com readers were left unimpressed with Apple's announcements.

"I'm a Mac freak and this was super, super, lame," wrote one reader in News.com's TalkBack. "An overpriced speaker? A new Mac Mini which is $100 more? What happened to the $500 dollar Mac? Oh well."

Fixing the holes
Apple also released a security update for Mac OS X that fixes 20 vulnerabilities, including a high-profile Web browser and Mail flaw disclosed last week. The set of patches addresses a variety of security flaws, including several that could let an attacker gain control over a computer running the operating system software.

The Apple security update addresses those flaws, which affect the Safari Web browser and Apple Mail client. The vulnerabilities expose Mac users to risks that are more familiar to Windows owners: the installation of malicious code through a bad Web site or e-mail because of improper validation of downloads.

The patch arrives after two weeks of intense scrutiny for Apple Mac OS X safety, prompted by the discovery of two worms and the disclosure of two security flaws in that period.

While these threats represent a sea change, there is no need for Mac owners to worry, security experts said, as the published attacks are still mainly theoretical and

See more CNET content tagged:
Microsoft Origami, Apple iPod Hi-Fi, Apple Intel Mac Mini, minitablet PC, home stereo

6 comments

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Add your comment
Microsoft's vaporware again!
Smug mac user.
Posted by BentonBear (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft's vaporware again!
Smug mac user.
Posted by BentonBear (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Origami 'virus' is limited
I did some viral communications checking yesterday. No one I
asked about Origami knew what it was. I made a point of asking
several people using Windows devices, including laptops and Not A
Pods. Looks like Origami word of mouth is infecting only those of
us who go to tech sites online.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Origami 'virus' is limited
I did some viral communications checking yesterday. No one I
asked about Origami knew what it was. I made a point of asking
several people using Windows devices, including laptops and Not A
Pods. Looks like Origami word of mouth is infecting only those of
us who go to tech sites online.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft's Origami
Another instance of Microsoft marketing hype. I can't get too excited. Shakespeare's "full of sound and fury and signifying ..." comes to mind. If Origamu is a small portable microcomputer, then that in and of itself ain't nothing new. Toshiba has the Libretto ($1600)that has the keyboard interface; Flybook ($2500) and Fujitsu ($1500) have models that runs either keyboard or tablet. Archos has a portable media assistant (430) for about $800. And on the other extreme are all those phones that wannabe computers, and some even run a version of Microsoft. And do we include the Sony PSP? And what about Intel's Ultra Mobile PC?

Now if they can do it for the $500 that is a rumor started by Big BIll himself, then that might be something.
Posted by RayGauthier (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft's Origami
Another instance of Microsoft marketing hype. I can't get too excited. Shakespeare's "full of sound and fury and signifying ..." comes to mind. If Origamu is a small portable microcomputer, then that in and of itself ain't nothing new. Toshiba has the Libretto ($1600)that has the keyboard interface; Flybook ($2500) and Fujitsu ($1500) have models that runs either keyboard or tablet. Archos has a portable media assistant (430) for about $800. And on the other extreme are all those phones that wannabe computers, and some even run a version of Microsoft. And do we include the Sony PSP? And what about Intel's Ultra Mobile PC?

Now if they can do it for the $500 that is a rumor started by Big BIll himself, then that might be something.
Posted by RayGauthier (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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