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Microsoft to unveil its tiny new PC amid hype

HANOVER, Germany -- After months of cryptic Web marketing and word-of-mouth hype over Microsoft Corp.'s Project Origami, the company finally showed off the product: an ultracompact computer running Windows XP with a touchscreen and wireless connectivity.

It's everything a full computer or laptop is, minus the keyboard. It has a 7-inch touch-sensitive screen that responds to a stylus or the tap of a finger.

Two models are expected to hit stores shelves by spring, and Microsoft says they'll be about the size of a large paperback book.

They will run on a full version of Windows XP, the same operating system used on larger tablet PCs, and it uses Intel's Celeron M microprocessor. New software called Windows Touch Pack will handle touch-screen functions.

The device will be officially unveiled today at CeBIT, the annual technology trade show in Hanover. The company is marketing it as a category it's calling the ultramobile PC.

Three companies have built working models -- Samsung, Asus, and Founder. The Samsung and Asus devices are expected to be in stores by April, and the Founder device in June.

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