Microsoft's Origami puzzle begins to unfold

Microsoft's Origami puzzle begins to unfold
LONDON (Reuters) - The veil of mystery surrounding Microsoft's (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) secretive Origami portable device lifted just a little on Thursday after the firm updated the project's cryptic Web site, hinting that all would be revealed on March 9.

It may be coincidence, but March 9 is also the launch in Hannover of CeBit, the world's largest annual trade show for the information and telecommunications technology industry.

Information from Microsoft on Origami is sketchy to say the least. Industry reports predict it is the company's long-awaited offering hoping to take a bite out of rival Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) all-conquering i-Pod.

The only details released so far have been on the Microsoft registered website, along with cryptic questions such as "who am I?," "do you know me?," "do you know what I can do?" and "wondering where to find me?" sending rumors flying round Internet Web sites and chatrooms.

Origami is expected to be the size of a paperback book, able to play music, games, connect to the internet and run software.

The viral marketing approach is well employed by Apple, with a feeding frenzy of media attention and rumors generated ahead of each release of the iPod, iBook and iMac products as the often wildly conflicting information is dripped out drop by drop.