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Is Courier Microsoft’s New Tablet?

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Gizmodo is running with some very interesting information including an non-embeddable video about Courier, which is what they claim are the first details of Microsoft’s new Tablet. Dual screen and separated by a hinge,it is built for multi-touch and the pen. Here’s a quote:

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

GBM readers and InkSeine fans might recognize some things in the video that look very, very, very familar. Hmmm? If this is on the up and up, it looks like we might have some Tablet Wars ahead. If Apple chooses to come out and play.


Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

17 Comments

  1. Mickey Segal

    09/22/2009 at 8:01 pm

    It looks great. It is more complicated to support both touch and pen input, but it is pretty important to have both.

    A lot will depend on details such as cost, speed, battery life, and whether there is some way of docking the device to use it as one’s main computer. But it is very interesting, and it would be great to have a device with all the Motion LS800 could do, but updated with the best of modern technology.

    Hopefully Microsoft will have the sense this time to talk to the clothing manufacturers. There were uncharacteristically shy last time.

  2. Gagan Saxena

    09/22/2009 at 8:19 pm

    Here is wishing that this comes to market very soon with halfway decent battery life!

  3. SAM

    09/22/2009 at 8:27 pm

    Looks cool!
    Dual interactive screens

  4. Jonathan wood

    09/22/2009 at 8:31 pm

    Finally somebody got it.

    This tablet is the way it always should have been.
    MS NAILED it!

  5. cybertactix

    09/22/2009 at 8:32 pm

    Hey, its a production ready version of Ken Hinckley’s Codex, http://community.research.microsoft.com/blogs/alpineinker/archive/2008/10/01/microsoft-research-codex.aspx

    I loved the idea the first time I saw it!

  6. SAM

    09/22/2009 at 8:51 pm

    I wonder if it will have a Windows operating system or
    something entirely new, but hopefully read Windows
    file formats ei. jpgs. pdf, doc, xls, etc ?

    Any speculation on cost?

    IS this something that will be released next year
    or is it just concept?

  7. Rob Bushway

    09/22/2009 at 8:54 pm

    yeah, and the pie navigation, snipping, flicking from one screen to the next – all Ken Hinckley and InkSeine + Codex – you guys saw it here first on GBM last year! Warner – remember seeing this in Ken’s office at Microsoft Research?

  8. Cymryk

    09/22/2009 at 8:56 pm

    Ok, I’m usually the last one to say anything good abt Microsoft, but this looks awesome. Want!

  9. Ben

    09/22/2009 at 9:19 pm

    if it’s real, not too expensive, and the spec don’t suck, i’ll buy one.

  10. rainman

    09/22/2009 at 9:43 pm

    If this is real and the battery life is decent, this looks like my dream tablet. Probably costs double of any other tablet but at least the form factor is finally what it should have been all along. I can’t wait to find out more!

  11. Joe

    09/23/2009 at 2:31 am

    I don’t know, the navigation doesn’t seem very intuitive to me.

    But hypothetically, if they give it an ebook reader with markup (preferably something that can read the open epub standard), OneNote, and some form of PDF inking and I’m interesting, no matter how bad the interface would be.

  12. Dennis Rice

    09/23/2009 at 7:38 am

    Darn it. Another device I will have to be first in line to buy sight unseen. My wife is gonna kill me.

    I like the look of the interface, but until I know about battery life, durability, WWAN access, display quality, weight, etc., I will reserve my comments on just how perfect it is. So many devices have come out over the years with great features, but there has always been that Achilles heel (battery life mainly) that keeps nirvana out of reach.

    Tell me when the line starts forming though! :-)

  13. Mark Byrd

    09/23/2009 at 8:07 am

    It needs to have Pixel Qi type screens. That will help in the power consumption category and allow it to be used outdoors – a necessary item IMHO. I like the rear facing camera aspect, but the Skype crowd will certainly want a front facing camera, even if it is just low res.

    Overall, very nicely done. I’d love to see MS take the lead here!

  14. AmbiDextrose

    09/23/2009 at 9:14 am

    I hope they come out with a larger form-factor like one that’s the size of an actual writing notebook. With my handwriting, I’ll barely be able to fit most of my ideas on a 7-in screen.

    And even though it may be powered by Win7Mo and ARM-class processors (speculation on my part), as long as it supports an active digitizer (i.e., 512 levels of pen pressure, ideally), can be used outdoors, does (at least) WXGA (WXGA+, ideally) per panel and the guys from Ambient Design and/or Autodesk port ArtRage and/or SketchBook Pro (respectively) to this device, I’m sold- it’ll be the perfect go-anywhere sketchbook/e-book/note-taking book/document annotator for me.

  15. Steven

    09/23/2009 at 9:38 am

    This is just what Ken Hinckley showed GBM/Rob. Didn’t he make something like this using two OQOs? I wonder if Ken can comment on any of this news… ? Thanks GBM for another score in the future devices category.

  16. Steven

    09/23/2009 at 9:40 am

    Sorry, I wrote the comment and then read the rest of the comments. There is a link to the CODEX – 2 OQOs that Ken put together to make what appears to be heading to market. Once again, Ken is the man.

  17. dustin

    09/23/2009 at 9:25 pm

    that thing is sick. I want one know!! Finally it looks like somebody finally got it right. Needs great battery life! and some sort of easy way to plug in when working in your car or desk.

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