Will Microsoft's Courier Deliver the Goods?

Microsoft may be readying to let fly with a dual-screen, multi-touch tablet device, according to what appear to be leaked photos and video. The so-called Courier may give Microsoft a firm foothold in a growing category of devices, but software and price point are two tricky areas the Courier would have to master in order to take off.
You didn’t even have to open up your notebook computer Wednesday to hear the alarms and klaxons going off in the technology blogosphere: Someone had leaked images and video of a dual-screen, multi-touch tablet PC that’s supposedly in the “late prototype” stages at Microsoft.
Gizmodo is the lucky recipient of the information regarding the Courier, said to be an actual device that looks more like a slim e-reader or portfolio than a tablet computer. The two 7-inch screens face each other book-style, and users can interact with them with a stylus or with their fingers. They can also use the by-now-familiar “flicking” gestures to scroll up and down a page. There’s wireless connectivity, a camera — and plenty of comparisons to other Microsoft products like the Surface table computer and the new Zune HD handheld media player.
The Complexity Factor
Thanks to its Surface research, Microsoft has done the software leg work required to bring the Courier to market this year if it wanted to, according to Enderle Group president and principal analyst Rob Enderle. The technological hurdle would lie with multi-touch screen developers and other hardware companies.
Reference: www.technewsworld.com/story/Will-Microsofts-Courier-Deliver-the-Goods-68196.html


  • Right now the “Courier” double touch screen device everyone’s talking about seems to be talked about by everyone but Microsoft.
    Keep in mind this is a RUMOR and it’s not a very reliable one at that …
    Microsoft would need to drop a very healthy amount of money to develop their own tablet PC. So the risk to them is that they’d not only be out the development capital but if it flops, and any V 1. product like this isn’t going to be without glitches there’s going to be name brand fallout damage. This isn’t the time for MS to have more of that.
    Next and this is probably the biggest reason this is a rumor is that they couldn’t do it a lone. Any time Microsoft even begins to do hardware it puts them into competition with some of their best partners (namely all the PC manufacturers out there)… they rely on these companies to put Windows on their systems and in a lot of ways it’s this relationship that allows Windows to prosper. So I really really really don’t see this happening. They may help PC manufacturers create – such a design – even give them the designs to create them (and they’d have to give it to ALL of the manufacturers out there or there’d be anti-trust lawsuits and wars like you would not believe if they chose just “one” manufacturer. So for them to even think about going into producing any kind of a PC of any type is a lose-lose-lose scenario for them.
    They’d need to develop a product highly popular right out of the gate, and they’d need the help of the very people they’d be going into competition with to do so. If we’ve learned anything about PC chip makers and hardware makers – they can’t keep their mouths shut. If this product was even on the drawing board from any of them – we’d have seen it by now.
    Now, having said that – it is very possible that there may be a new version of the Windows OS specifically designed for Tablet-PCs, and it may be that Microsoft has worked with Tablet-PC makers on the design of it – and it may be we’re not going to just see ONE pc with this OS but an entire class of tablet PC’s that take advantage of a new Surface technology interface… which may be what we’re seeing the in demo.
    But also keep in mind when I was 9 I went into one of those “homes of the future” and I’m still waiting for the Robot that cleans my house for me. ;_D

  • I think the new .Net features such as F# will be especially interesting with a multi-touch screen.

  • Microsoft can’t deliver on anything these days. Courier is a vague ‘concept’ not a product. Nobody has ever seen or used Surface in real life. Zune HD is a vainglorious waste of MSFT shareholder capital chasing the wrong rabbit down the wormhole (same hole as XBOX, Zune, Bing, Hotmail etc. belong in). Windows Mobile is a shambles.
    MS have two exceptional franchises: Windows and Office. Jettison everything else non-core (yes, including Great Plains and all the other distractions).
    We will likely never see Courier as I would expect it to be ridiculed at the degree of ‘market readiness’ which it currently is at. The days of eating the MS vapourware are over. Courier will bomb (if they ever get it out of the photoshop drawing stage).

  • I hope it becomes the most popular business device ever. Sounds complicated and I would love to support users in fixing all the nasty bugs its going to have.

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