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Microsoft Courier News

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Engadget is running with some news on Microsoft Courier. Here’s the quote:

We’re told Courier will function as a “digital journal,” and it’s designed to be seriously portable: it’s under an inch thick, weighs a little over a pound, and isn’t much bigger than a 5×7 photo when closed. That’s a lot smaller than we expected — this new picture really puts it into perspective — and the internals apparently reflect that emphasis on mobility: rather than Windows 7, we’re told the Courier is built on Tegra 2 and runs on the same OS as the Zune HD, Pink, and Windows Mobile 7 Series, which we’re taking to mean Windows CE 6

Engadget is also saying that we’re looking at a release in the 2nd half of this year. Fascinating stuff. This is proving to be an interesting Friday in the Tablet-sphere. I’m guessing the release of this info on the day Apple announces shipping for the iPad isn’t an accident.

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+

21 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    03/05/2010 at 10:12 am

    Please Microsoft use Pixel Qi technology…

  2. Andrew Beery

    03/05/2010 at 11:45 am

    Anywhere close to iPad pricing and this will be HOT HOT HOT!

  3. JOE H

    03/05/2010 at 12:28 pm

    PleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePlease

    Just make it!

  4. sbtablet

    03/05/2010 at 12:57 pm

    Want. Want. Want.

  5. Joe

    03/05/2010 at 1:16 pm

    Yeah, I definitely want this as well. I’ve said all along I’d prefer ARM for it, both for price, and all-day battery purposes.

    There’s a few issues I see with that, namely that we’d need new software- no PDF annotation for example- but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives.

    The only major issue I see, is that I’d really like it to sync back to OneNote, so that I can have the same notebooks on my full-sized tablet that I have on the Courier. I know you can browse via the web, but that’s not quite the same as everything syncing.

    And I’d prefer some better organization within notebooks as well. In OneNote, when you have a notebook, you also get to have different tabs within that notebook, as well as the page tabs on the side (as I’m sure most of us know). In this, unfortunately, it appears that the only organization is by notebook. Search is great, but so is manual organization- this is why I prefer OneNote to Inkseine in the first place.

    But all in all, I’m still very much interested in this.

  6. GoodThings2Life

    03/05/2010 at 1:30 pm

    Nice! So much awesomeness from Microsoft on the Touch-computing front this year! If they can actually deliver on all of it, they could actually regain some traction that they’ve been steadily losing these past few years.

  7. GFL

    03/05/2010 at 2:33 pm

    Wow… way smaller than I think they originally led on. Almost too small (referencing a 5×7 when folded). Looks slick though. I’m still getting an iPad.

  8. Michael

    03/05/2010 at 6:17 pm

    Wow, this looks awesome. I officially rescind some of the nasty things I’ve been saying about MS lately.

    Can’t wait for more info.

  9. Shogmaster

    03/05/2010 at 6:48 pm

    Horsepower-wise, this thing should destroy the iPad (dual core Cortex A9 vs single core Cortex A8), but the amount of things it’s being asked to do, it might be just enough power for it…

  10. Mike

    03/05/2010 at 10:18 pm

    Worried about screen (glare – would like pixel qi or something along those solution lines).
    Also screen size… was hoping for much larger screens.
    The demo on engadget looked great.. on my 24″ monitor.
    My aging eyes are not going to be able to readily make out half the text they were showing on a little screen.
    Won’t make web surfing much fun either.

    Also kind of funny how demo almost actively promoted plagiarizing others ideas. hahahahahah….
    I hope all those neat clipping functions come with some meta data so I don’t have to spend 10 minutes with a tiny onscreen keyboard each time I do it to make proper notes for possible attribution later.

  11. AmbiDextrose

    03/05/2010 at 11:55 pm

    Mike,

    My suggestion is to get a large Moleskine notebook (around 5in x 8in when closed) and try note-taking on it. If you feel comfortable with the Moleskine, this form factor will probably work for you. Otherwise, here’s hoping Microsoft will have a larger form-factor somewhere down the line (if the initial incursion is successful).

    For my part, the current form factor doesn’t bother me because I’m used to sketching using Moleskine sketchbooks (which is approximately only a little larger than the screen judging from the length of the pen used).

  12. Osiris

    03/06/2010 at 5:03 am

    Running on that platform and with WinCE6 battery life should be good. Im disappointed with the size however perhaps that is to keep cost down and competitive with ipad for its initial launch.

    Larger screens cost more money unfortunately, still if it goes well the form factor definitely supports a larger edition.

  13. Osiris

    03/06/2010 at 5:10 am

    If MS put the time like apple into developing an office version for use on this platform, other tablets based on WinCE could start to become very interesting.

    The WinCE platform and hardware lends itself to vastly more battery life then our regular Windows tablets. Who knows maybe we are seeing the dawn of a new tablet OS from MS. Based on the same Silverlight/XNA platform as xbox, WP7s, this. Thats some synergy for you right there.

  14. CLC

    03/06/2010 at 7:55 am

    @Osiris:
    No, this is what a lot of tech geeks are not understanding when it comes to this device. I am not too surprised at the size of the device. Part of me wants a larger one in order to use as a digital workspace for all things; but I know that this is the perfect size for the audience that they are targeting: the Notebook fanatics, specifically Moleskine users.

    Just look at it! It LOOKS like a digital Moleskine. (Heck, just look at the notebook cover view! That Elm Street cover is extremely reminiscent of a Moleskine on sale with the orange paper band. I also heard that it will have a leather-like cover.) And if you make it look like a Moleskine, you have a nice shot at attracting that veeeeeeery large instant pen-centric user that is making the Moleskine so popular (Of course, instant on and a long battery are a MUST otherwise the inspiration will be gone in a flash).

    I think this is a great idea. The established user base for this makes it so that Microsoft doesn’t have to convince the customer that pen is the way to go in inputting text. It’s already there in the notebook fanatics. All that remains to be seen is whether we notebook fanatics want to give up our luscious inks and fountain pens and smooth, silky paper. LOL

  15. Osiris

    03/06/2010 at 9:13 am

    @CLC

    I dont necessarily disagree with your assessment but I still think cost has something to do with it and I still think the device would be quite functional or more functional on a larger display.

    IF this is built on XNA and silverlight it would be silly to think the only thing MS has planned for it would be journal functionality.

  16. CLC

    03/06/2010 at 9:52 am

    @Osiris
    People use Moleskines instead of computers (as an add on usually) or a PDA for a reason. And they sell extremely well. Look at it from the perspective of the average Moleskine user. Google “Moleskine” to see the fanaticism and the different usage scenerios that people are already using this pocketable form factor for and take it from that perspective as finally replacing our Moleskines, which computers have yet to do.

    • Osiris

      03/06/2010 at 6:02 pm

      Like I said, I dont disagree with that but im afraid until things are confirmed in stone from MS, you will never convince me that MS is targetting such a limited market. The device has potential far beyond those who use moleskins and I hardly think MS marketing is going to be limited to them.

      The device also has potential for larger displays and further uses, again, especially if its built on CE6 and the XNA/Silverlight framework.

      • CLC

        03/07/2010 at 3:59 pm

        ….Yeah…, except the userbase isn’t that small. People use Moleskines for everything from sketches, to calendars, to todo lists, to day planners, to idea loggers, to paper PDA’s, and all sorts of things. And this is ALL pen centric usage. Microsoft has been having a devil of a time convincing people that pen is a good input method for a digital medium. Well, Moleskine users already favor pen; and Moleskines sell like crazy…
        Everyone from art students to scrapbookers to businessmen to moms use these Moleskine journals. I wouldn’t say it’s a limited base, especially considering the size of the community that extensively uses pens. These kinds of journals are the one paper industry that is exploding.

        I’m still not sure I’d want to give up my fountain pens, though. I’m obsessed. :D

  17. jjsjjsva

    03/06/2010 at 12:15 pm

    This is what the I-Pad should have been, revolutionary, and not just a big I-Touch. What a let down. The size is perfect. This is going to change the Pad concept.

    If could also runs Android apps, MS Office with a digital keyboard on one sreen and monitor on the other, web cam, and HD video playback, then it would be near perfect.

    Sure wish I had this when I was in college taking notes an doing class projects.

    Sweet! Bye bye I-Pad!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Scoobie

    03/07/2010 at 1:38 am

    Just hope it is compatible with onenote

  19. Nameless

    03/08/2010 at 8:53 am

    Doesn’t sound like it’ll fit in even my pants pockets, but it’ll probably work with a coat pocket.

    Nevertheless, I want one so very badly, since it’s a more distilled and focused device for my Tablet PC uses than the Tablet PC itself. (Doesn’t mean I’m ditching my Gateway convertible for it, but the portability and battery life advantages will be appreciated.)

    As for Moleskines…I can’t say that I’ve used one, or even seen one in person. The basic premise sounds good, but I just hate working with pen and paper due to its kludginess and tendency for it all to get mixed up and lost. (The only time I even want to consider dealing with paper is when I need to write something down quickly and hand it off to someone else. I’m certainly not forking over something like the Courier in that instance.)

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