Print 56 comment(s) - last by Friendly0Fire.. on May 3 at 1:15 AM

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 lightfoot on 4/29/2010 7:45:33 PM , Rating: 4
Beating Apple in sales numbers for a single device? You're right. Creating a platform that out performs Apple's toy and selling it on numerous hardware platforms? I think Microsoft has a very good chance, and so does Google.

Apple's iPhone OS is defined not by what it can do, but by what it can't.

And you forget that the Courier was actually demoed well before any the iPad was ever shown to the public. Yes, Apple got to market, but there was a time (about 4 months ago) when they were both vaporware.

RE: Was never a real product
By reader1 on 4/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Was never a real product
By Bateluer on 4/30/2010 12:52:54 AM , Rating: 2
A worthless piece of shit with a multi-billion dollar net worth to your $2.50 net worth. :p

RE: Was never a real product
By robinthakur on 4/30/2010 10:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yes but the iPad or rather an Apple Tablet device has literally been worked on for years and years by Apple and rumoured about for considerably longer. I remember reading back in 2005 that Apple were working on a tablet PC! I suspect that it never really got going in its current form until the success of the iPhone's touch technology and even Apple appear to have been quite conservative in what they pack into the device to keep the price down (for them)

As far as creating a tablet platform to comete with Apple, Google stands a very good chance, HP a moderately good chance thanks to their acquisition of WebOS and Microsoft no chance (zero). I love Microsoft for what they do well, but Tablet PC's running Windows in their most recent forms are not one of them for 99% of the buying public. Heavy, imprecise, bloated and expensive, its no wonder they haven't taken off in the decade they have been available.

Using my iPhone every day i'm not aware of annything realistic it can't do beyond full multi-tasking (currently) care to enlighten me? The fact that I don't particularly miss Flash shows that actually its not all that important when browsing the web for the majority of sites and certainly there should always be a non flash version of a site available for accessibility purposes anyway, its just good design.

To coin an oft-used term used about microsoft, the closed nature of the iPhone OS and the Appstore is seen a feature and not a bug by most people other than the techie chatterers types. The usability and smoothness of the iPhone OS is unmatched currently (android is closing the gap though) so I think that's what its most known for actually...or have you forgotten what phones were like before the iPhone came out? If you want a reminder try using a recent Nokia ;p

RE: Was never a real product
By lightfoot on 4/30/2010 12:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
I remember what phones could do before the iPhone came out. Can you?

Blackberries could sync email (using Push too!)

They could Cut & Paste text.

They could play multiple media formats.

They had custom wallpapers and ringtones.

They could send SMS and MMS text messages!

They had expandable memory.

They had batteries that you could replace.

They could make phone calls.

They were affordable.

Admittedly the iPhone has resolved all but the last four of these issues, but even so there are significant things that the phone still can't do. And these limitations are what kept people away from the phone.

RE: Was never a real product
By kmmatney on 4/30/2010 5:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
The Blackberry sucked for browsing the web. All phones sucked at browsing the web before the iPhone, and not many phones had wifi either.

When I needed a new work phone over a year ago, I tried numberous Blackberry models at the store, but they just weren't as useful as the iPhone, so I made the switch and have been happy ever since. I liked the phone so much that I refused to take a re-imbursement for it, as I want to keep the phone if I ever change jobs. I would have never done that with a Blackberry.

By Friendly0Fire on 5/3/2010 1:15:44 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot another extremely advanced and complex technology, one whose conception has long since been forgotten: tactile feedback, or as you might have otherwise known it: buttons. You know, things you could press and feel like you were actually pressing something?

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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