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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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RE: fools...
By Aloonatic on 5/20/2011 11:01:23 AM , Rating: 5
When you say "fools" are you referring to MS who have stopped courier development, or the friends of yours who said that they would buy one of these based purely on a demonstration video that almost certainly wasn't going to be 100% the same as the production model, and had no estimated cost information either, so they had no real idea of what a retail unit would set them back?

It's one thing to come up with a nice idea and a pretty video to show to people, but it's another to make a production device that works in the way that the video shows, at a cost that does not make it prohibitively expensive for the general market.

Besides, from what I recall of the video, it didn't look like it was running an OS that was like WP7, and that could have been very confusing to the public.

One thing that people seem to ignore in the iPad/Android table debate is that iPad has an interface that is very similar to the iPhone's, whereas the already numerous Android UIs out there are now being added to by almost every tablet that comes along.

Google are franticly trying to back pedal on this and force a unified interface on Android devices, so maybe MS want to make a table device that uses something that looks, feels and works a lot more like WP7 so that they don't find themselves into the position that Google are in now?

I can't help but feel that Android tablets would be selling better if they all had an interface that looked similar to each other, and similar to Android phones too, rather than some having Moto Blur, HTC Sense, Samsung whatever it's called, Eden Adam something... That would allow people to pick up and Android table and have a chance of understanding how it worked right away, as it looks and works in a similar way to how their Android phone does, which is the experience that iPhone users have when they pick up an iPad.

RE: fools...
By Alexvrb on 5/20/2011 7:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, lots of people jump all over them saying that they're "fools" for cancelling it, but they would never have bought one if they actually released it. If they actually shipped something, it would get destroyed due to high costs, a crowded market, and general lack of "teh apps".

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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