At the heart of Courier is an "Infinite Journal". You can publish your notes to all your contacts, as seen here  (Source: Gizmodo)

Flipping through the journal and finding ideas looks extremely intuitive.  (Source: Gizmodo)

You can add photos of real world objects to your journal, thanks to the tablet's built in camera.  (Source: Gizmodo)

The site's built in touch-driven browser lets you find even more content for your entries.  (Source: Gizmodo)
More details emerge about Microsoft's Courier tablet

News of Microsoft's experimental Courier tablet broke last week and turned a number of heads.  With Apple reportedly racing to release a similar tablet, Microsoft has stolen the thunder of its competitor.

Speaking of which, it now appears the tablet's interface is running on top of a modified version of Windows 7.  And it's reportedly a "incubation project" not a "Microsoft Research project", meaning that it is headed towards a commercial release.  And according to ZDNet's Mary Jo-Foley that release will be coming in mid-2010.

A new video from Microsoft's Pioneer Studios revealed many details about the new device.  At its heart is the "Infinite Journal" -- think Microsoft Office or OneNote on steroids.  Everything from meeting reminders to the browser, and even a Photoshop-like stylus paint utility is tied into the journal.

Not a virtual keyboard was in sight in the Infinite Journal demo -- all text was entered via the Courier's stylus.  You could flip between pages in the journal, or you could switch to a browser and flip through your favorites, in a format akin to Apple's much-touted Cover Flow technology.

Anything you find online is journal fodder -- you can drag images or text into your journal and add notes to them.  You can even remove part of photos and add your own artistic finish.  Cooler still, you can take a photo of an object, and then it will be transferred to your journal.  And the journal has easy options to arrange the pictures you've found.

You can share journal notes with your contacts (that also come with jumbo color pictures flippable with the Cover Flow-clone).  And you can publish your entire journal online to share with others.  Reportedly, the journal will be publishable in Courier, PDF, and PowerPoint formats.

According to ZDNet's source, the tablet intentionally doesn't allow Windows 7 apps to be installed, despite running on the OS.  The source says that early Microsoft tablet prototypes "failed because the applications were not tailored to a tablet form factor - that is, Word still had toolbars and menus and scrollbars. So, a tablet needs to be like an iPhone - a UX that is specific for the form factor."

Reportedly, Microsoft is excited enough about the device that its not only targeting a release in under a year, but it also may opt to produce it itself to get it to the market faster.  This is similar to the route Microsoft followed with the Xbox 360.

One thing's for sure, Microsoft's Windows 7-sporting dual screen touch tablet screams cool and looks like a surefire hit if it can live up to its demonstration video.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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