Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It feels like the whole world is holding its breath for the Apple tablet. But maybe we've all been dreaming about the wrong device. This is Courier, Microsoft's astonishing take on the tablet.
' Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the "late prototype" stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They're connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.
The tablet arena seems to be getting about just as much hype as the netbook market was getting when the first ones were being showed off. This time though, Microsoft is interested in a bit more than just the software side of things. Gizmodo got its hands on Courier, quickly called it "Microsoft's astonishing take on the tablet," and noted that the interfaced was "unlike anything we've seen before." Don't get too excited just yet. First we must remember that this is in the late prototype stage of development, but that still means prototype, no matter how you slice it. Microsoft is developing the user experience and showing design concepts to outside agencies, but at any time the device can still be axed.