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 robinthakur on 4/30/2010 9:38:40 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, bitchy geeks out of touch with reality, that's novel...Whilst this should be obvious to most people above the age of 12 it does bear saying. Basically Apple knows its market and the iPad is a different device to a netbook, traditional tablet pc etc in that it is deliberately limited, and used a sandboxed OS built from the ground up foor a multi-touch system, and this is seen as a very GOOD thing to the typical person it is targeted at. This person wants an appliance that can safely browse the internet, view photos/books, check mail etc. which always just works, battery life allowing. This is what sells because people want it. The easiest way to do that is to have a proprietary OS which is very locked down and restrictions on what can be installed on it.

Now that doesn't make them blind masses, as you condescendingly say, that just means that they are using the device as a means to an end (as a tool) and not getting hung up on whether they can jailbreak it or install the latest Android/Ubuntu Kernel etc. on it. Most people in this world, I would think, do not buy laptops, phones or really any tech so that other people will see their "self-consciousness as less fallible" what a weird world you live in...they presumably use them for a purpose and have lives.

You say that you champion positivity in terms of what's reported on what Microsoft's mobile OS 7 can do. What can it do that its competitors cannot? In contrast to this fact, note that by the time it is released it won't have multi-tasking or external Flash support, which actually is a pretty major deal as this is what has historically differentiated Apple's devices from the competition.

Obviously a closed off sandboxed OS is not for everybody. Apple positions its products ignoring the existence of its competitors nearly completely. If its not for you then buy something else!

Obviously HP and MS have decided that the critical reaction and sales interest in its Courier and Slate POC just weren't there and have canned the projects for business reasons. No sane company simply releases tech because it looks cool, and has a high technical spec anymore, it needs to sell. With the global success of the iPhone lineage and iPod etc as well as the growing Mac sales, people are more familiar with and have certain expectations when it comes to touch screen devices and User interface design, which perhaps Windows 7 (great as it is as a desktop OS) cannot match in a portable touch screen format only device. Therefore its not really a case of "Shallow-minded devices for Shallow-minded thinkers" its the needs of the many vs the needs of the few.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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