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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 TakinYourPoints on 5/20/2011 4:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. The amount that Microsoft spends in R&D is astronomical. That they have so few shipping products outside of operating systems and office software, with an even lower number of successful ones, to show for it is bizarre. It is a vision problem and it comes from the top.


RE: fools...
By p05esto on 5/21/2011 6:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
What? You must be kidding, MS has so many products and services that they will be around for generations. They make the fricking software that makes ALL other software for crying out loud (Visual Studio). Seriously we could make a list of 100 very successful products that make them boatloads of money. I mean, MS owns the business world hands down - and that's where the REAL money is at. Calm down folks, MS isn't going anywhere.


RE: fools...
By tayb on 5/21/2011 9:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
I agree here. MS has a huge array of products most people just aren't aware of them because most of them aren't consumer oriented.

Internet Information Services
Visual Studio
ASP.NET
ASP.NET MVC
Windows 7
Windows Server
Microsoft Sql Server
Xbox 360
Office Suite
Windows Phone 7
Silverlight (ever been on Netflix?)

And I could go on and on and on. Not to mention all of the software and products that go alongside all of the above. They are everywhere.

The Courier was a cool concept but that's about all that it was. It would have been impossible to power both screens on battery life for more than a few hours, they would have had to build an entire OS just for this one product, the hardware to run both of these screens wasn't mature enough at the time (and still may not be), and the cost of the dual screens would have raised the price well above acceptable cost levels.

There is a reason this product was killed and it was the right call.


RE: fools...
By T2k on 5/22/11, Rating: 0
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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