Microsoft to announce Origami device this week?

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Is Microsoft Corp. planning to announce details of a new portable device code-named Origami later this week? That is the question raised by a Web site called Origami Project, http://www.origamiproject.com.

A search of Whois records shows that the domain name origamiproject.com is registered to Microsoft, but the site itself offers little information regarding its purpose, other than to hint at some form of announcement scheduled for March 2.

"Hello. Do you know me? Do you know what I can do? And where I can go? Or how I can change your life? You will ... learn more on 3.2.06," an animation on the site teased.

Bloggers and gadget Web sites alike have been abuzz recently with speculation about what Origami is, with some speculating that it is a handheld device.

In a posting on his Web site, Microsoft executive and blogger Richard Scoble last week appeared to confirm this speculation. "I do know that Origami is the code name for a new kind of device," he wrote.

On Sunday, Scoble added additional detail in a second blog post, saying Origami is the name of a "fairly low cost" portable device that was developed by a team at Microsoft headed by Otto Berkes, who had previously worked on the Xbox game console. Berkes' team that developed Origami was based in the same building that houses Microsoft's Tablet PC team, Scoble wrote.

Microsoft executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

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