Is Oracle a Google Wannabe?When Oracle ( ORCL) announced that it developed a new search technology this week, much of the financial and trade press immediately assumed that Larry Ellison and company were moving against Google ( GOOG). Not really.
Origami UnfoldedThose teases at Microsoft ( MSFT) have been dropping a lot of hints about "Origami," the mystery (choose one) a.) iPod killer b.) mobile PC c.) software platform d.) can opener, which is now due to be unveiled next week at CeBit, the big German technology showcase. Mary Jo Foley, the astute Microsoft watcher and eWeek journalist, says: "The software giant intends to bring to market a new class of smaller and more versatile, battery-powered computers that offer users greater utility -- they could connect to networks and download email or make VOIP (voice-over-IP) phone calls, as well as manage photos, music and videos -- but that still use a full version of Windows." Oragami, she writes, will be smaller than the smallest Tablet PCs but bigger than a PocketPC and unlikely to ship with a keyboard. Instead, users will input data and commands with a stylus, according to sources quoted by Foley. Microsoft could have a difficult time storming the store shelves with this one, says Gartner analyst Michael McGuire. "If it's an entertainment-oriented device, the iPod and other MP3 players have set expectations very high," he says. It will have to be small enough to fit in a pocket (Windows-based devices tend to be bulky) and be priced competitively. Another problem: Lots of folks in the tech-savvy audience likely to be targeted already have wireless notebooks and handheld devices of one kind or another at home and at work, so Origami had better be good.
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