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Courier, we hardly knew ye

In what is likely a knife through the heart for a lot of tech enthusiasts out there, Gizmodo is reporting that Microsoft has killed plans for its Courier tablet. We first caught wind of Courier back in September of 2009 and were quickly intrigued by its innovative user interface and dual-display "book" layout.

It should be noted that Microsoft never officially announced that it would build Courier or said that the tablet was anything more than a extremely promising design concept. So it shouldn't be too surprising that we won't see a finished product on store shelves.

Apparently, Microsoft has more pressing projects on its mind (namely, getting Windows Phone 7 out the door on schedule). Gizmodo received the following statement from Microsoft's Frank Shaw on the cancellation of the Courier program:

At any given time, we're looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It's in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.

With Microsoft seemingly out of the "slimmed-down OS" tablet market, Apple is left to take on all rivals with its iPad. Google is working on an Android-based tablet of its own, and we know that HP is going to milk its purchase of Palm for all it's worth and develop a tablet running webOS.

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RE: Was never a real product
By mellomonk on 4/29/2010 6:24:28 PM , Rating: 0
Microsoft should focus on Windows 7 and make it the OS of choice for all tablets. Thankfully Apple set the OS bar very low on their tablet; beating them should be a breeze.

For the majority of potential tablet users, a desktop OS is drastic overkill. To much code, to many processes, & most of the software would be compromised in a touch environment. The brightest part of the iPad is that it uses the iPhone OS with it's huge selection of multi-touch optimized apps. If MS builds a tablet OS it will surely be based on Windows Phone series 7.

MS beat Apple in this space? Maybe with a business focused tablet but I wouldn't hold your breath. Android on the other hand.......

RE: Was never a real product
By lightfoot on 4/29/2010 7:35:24 PM , Rating: 5
It's just too bad that the iPad can't work with most devices on the planet. Digital Camera? Sorry. Printer? Try again. External Harddrive? Nope. Optical drive to watch movies or install software? Ha! You'd think that Apple had never heard of USB.

As a consumer, if I have to have another computer with a full operating system to manage my tablet, then the tablet is of no use to me. I want the tablet to work with all the devices that I already own. That requires drivers and a (mostly) full OS.

RE: Was never a real product
By robinthakur on 4/30/2010 10:00:34 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see why you would need another ccomputer for most tasks bar upgrading it. You can buy music through the iTunes store, buy books through the bookstore, buy apps through the appstore and browse the web. This does not suit most people on Dailytech (including me), but to say that the device is useless without a full pc is not altogether true. The genuine limitations you describe do not appear to be affecting the sales thus far, which says a lot about the way that most people intend to use it.

RE: Was never a real product
By lightfoot on 4/30/2010 12:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
The genuine limitations you describe do not appear to be affecting the sales thus far, which says a lot about the way that most people intend to use it.

Or most people don't realize the limitations until after they have purchased the device. This might explain the relatively high amount of buyer's remorse and the number of returns.

RE: Was never a real product
By kmmatney on 4/30/2010 5:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Appraently Apple is working on printing support, as well as a lot of other features.

There are some third party printing apps as well. The Ipod touch and iPhone can print using WEprint, so I would think the iPad could as well. It would be useful to be able to print out webpages or a map.

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