A year after Microsoft
killed the much-anticipated Courier tablet project, PC World reports that the entire team responsible for the project, Pioneer
Although Courier was never an official Microsoft
product, the design and concept behind the dual-screen hinged tablet garnered a
lot of enthusiasm. (Note: Sony is
expected to launch a tablet with a similar form factor in the near future.)
Pioneer Studios' Seattle office closed a year
after J Allard, a former top designer at Microsoft credited with founding
Pioneer, left the company. Pioneer cofounder, George Petschnigg, is now listed
as an "entrepreneur" working on an "undisclosed new venture"
on his LinkedIn profile. He was instrumental in securing $20 million in
development funding for the now dead Courier. According to a PC World, he is now at Microsoft's
Startup Business Group.
Other Pioneer Studios employees have also
reportedly left the company or have joined other groups, notably the Startup
In addition to Pioneer, Microsoft has a number of
other incubation groups, including FUSE Labs, the Garage, and the Hardware
quote: 1. Employee will come up with great idea for new product.
quote: 3. R&D goes to management and says "Look at this, we could possibly sell a million of these! This is the future!"
quote: 4. Management says NO because there is no guarantee that they will sell a million and they don't want to be held accountable for a product failure.....
quote: Right off the bat you got it wrong. Low level employees aren't the ones paid to "come up" with ideas. Those ideas come from the top down, employees are the ones who's job is to make the idea a real and tangible product. All organizations are "top heavy" in this regard.
quote: Microsoft doesn't always kill new stuff. Take a look at Sync, Microsoft Surface, the Xbox, and the Zune before it was eventually killed off.
quote: They had several OS innovations during the longhorn project that either got dumped completely (the new filesystem)
quote: WP7 has so much potential and gets better almost daily. It won't be going away anytime soon.