Microsoft had long been rumored to be planning a tablet computer
called the Courier, a Windows-running gadget akin to Apple's iPad. The
Courier's two small screens, which would fold along a spine like a
journal, had generated a great deal of excitement
. But now the Redmond giant has killed
the Courier. Why'd they do it? And what does it mean?
Everyone Is Disappointed Ars Technica's Peter Bright mourns, "Courier
was a concept that had a lot of people excited. Project videos showed a
rich, if complex, user-interface that seamlessly melded multitouch
gestures with pen-driven data entry, coupled with attractive graphics
and an unusual dual-screen form factor. ... As well as the complex UI,
the hardware itself was desirable. The renders of what Courier hardware
might have looked like showed a leather-bound book-like design. It
looked expensive and attractive, with clean lines, two 7-inch screens,
and a camera."
- How Microsoft Can Learn From This
Gizmodo's Joel Johnson looks ahead.
"It is a pity. Courier was one of the most innovative concepts out of
Redmond in quite some time. But what we loved about Courier was the
interface and the
thinking behind it—not necessarily its custom operating system. In
fact, it makes sense for Microsoft to continue to trim away splinter
versions of its core operating systems and focus on Windows 7 and
Windows Phone 7 unity across all its devices. Hopefully some of the
smart thinking we have seen in Courier will find its way into
Microsoft's tablets, whether they're powered by Windows 7 or Windows
- Microsoft Must Keep Pace With Apple, Google The
Telegraph's Shane Richmond warns,
"Meanwhile, Apple is preparing for crowds tomorrow as it launches the 3G
version of the iPad and Google is reportedly working on a tablet of its
own. Can Microsoft catch up?"
- iPad Competitors Have Ways To
Go Mashable's Stan Schroeder shakes his head.
"All those devices that were supposed to 'kill' the iPad now have to be
rethought and redesigned, because no one was really sure what Apple
planned to do with the iPad. Sure, it now seems obvious (it’s a big
iPhone, duh), but history repeats: When iPhone came out, it took the
competition years to catch up."
- Microsoft Can Still Innovate
Chris Pirillo isn't losing
faith. "My mind boggles as I struggle to come up with the
possibilities of what we may soon see. These companies know that they
have to come up with something truly new, different and genius in order
to begin to compete with what Apple has done. I know that the technology
and the brains to put it to use are out there. I can’t wait to see what
they come up with, can you?"
- Was Courier Just A Marketing Ploy? CrunchGear's Matt Burns suspects Microsoft never really planned a mass
release. "The auto industry has been doing it for years. Some of the
that are rolled into auto shows are fully-functional models, complete
with advance drivetrains and electronics. But yet they never hit the
streets in a mass-market form. Perhaps the Courier was always designed
as such, a technology research project and/or marketing ploy. It always
seemed like a 'don’t forget about ol’ Microsoft' item anyway."
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