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Microsoft Courier tablet is dead.
Pioneer Studios offices closed and employees scattered

A year after Microsoft killed the much-anticipated Courier tablet project, PC World reports that the entire team responsible for the project, Pioneer Studios, has disbanded.

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 Business Group.

In addition to Pioneer, Microsoft has a number of other incubation groups, including FUSE Labs, the Garage, and the Hardware Incubation Lab.

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Wasted potential
By Silverel on 5/20/2011 10:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
I was on the list of people that were willing to shell out a couple grand for a form factor like this. I don't want some 7" tablet that feels like someone stretched out a smartphone when I already have a smartphone in my pocket. I want the dual 13" screen courier that felt more like a full powered laptop sans keyboard. Something that can run a full version of windows and doesn't have trouble choking on java or flash. Screw dropping 3g/4g on there and getting the phone companies involved, just make it simple to tether the thing to you phone when you need on the go coverage.

Terrible terrible waste. I hope SOMEONE brings a courier-style "tablet" that's fully powered to the market before it gets too over-saturated in underpowered psuedo-OS's and App Marketplaces.

RE: Wasted potential
By Mitch101 on 5/20/2011 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
Whats to keep someone from taking two 7" tablets and letting them talk to one another over bluetooth or some usb cable in a neat binder? When connected the second works as writing recognition or keyboard. When on the go you can take one or both with you. You can sell them individually and if you want the dual option similar to courier purchase two of them and link them.

RE: Wasted potential
By acer905 on 5/20/2011 12:23:31 PM , Rating: 2

Acer Iconia

Dual 14" multitouch screens
2.66GHz Core i5-480M CPU
64bit Windows 7 Home Premium.
1199.99 USD

Hows that sound?

RE: Wasted potential
By Silverel on 5/20/2011 2:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
That looks really really good actually. Thank you. I didn't know these had even come out... Shouldn't you guys be making a big deal over these or something?

RE: Wasted potential
By Aloonatic on 5/20/2011 3:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
That isn't really a tablet as both of the screens are much larger.

There have been articles on here about it:

Probably others too, before it got it's retail name.

RE: Wasted potential
By melgross on 5/20/2011 2:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
You are on a very small list indeed. Surveys show that few people will buy any tablet if it's $1,000 and above.

"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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