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More on the Microsoft Courier Tablet



The Courier Files_ How Microsoft Thinks We_ll Use Their Secret Tablet - Microsoft courier tablet - GizmodoGizmodo as posted another video of the Courier Tablet from Microsoft that shows more concepts of how you would interact with this new device. Again, thinking of Ken Hinkley’s influences here the core metaphor seems to be an InkSeine like infinite journal that you can create and store data in. In this video the pen appears to be the only data input mechanism and intriguingly the hinge area looks to be a clipboard like reservoir for you to store info in before moving it to another location.

Also intriguing, even though what we are seeing are concept videos, the “what’s up with the pen input” crowd already are starting to wonder about the marketing approach for this comparing it to that other big Tablet rumor from Cupertino. The gist of the scrutiny is that this (at the moment) looks like a data collection and creation tool as opposed to a media consumption device. Obviously it is way too early to tell on any of this from any quarter, but hey, I’m guessing there are some folks out there who actually do more with their computers than consume content.

Check out the video on Gizmodo



  1. Kevin Purcell

    09/29/2009 at 9:08 am

    Wow. I posted a long time ago in the forum that I wish inksein was the Tablet OS. So I will be expecting some form of payment from MS when this thing takes off.

  2. Joe

    09/29/2009 at 12:22 pm

    I’m disappointed that it doesn’t seem to have as good of organization as OneNote (even though the search seems excellent).

    I really hope this thiing comes to market and that MS can pull it off though.

  3. Joe

    09/29/2009 at 12:46 pm

    Oh and also disappointed in the rumor from ZDnet that it’ll run Windows 7. Don’t get me wrong, I love Windows 7, but this is begging for a ARM version of an embedded Windows. You don’t even get the benefit of Windows as “You can’t install Windows 7 apps on Courier, the source said, and that’s intentional.”

    This thing just really needs to be an instant-on, low power device, and even if they go with Atom, it’ll never be as power efficient as an ARM CPU. I realize that coming out of standby is nearly instantaneous and that hibernate is pretty fast as well, but this needs to really be the type of thing you can throw in a bag for weeks if you need to, and then pull it out and still have a charge, without having to wait even the 15-30 seconds to come out of hibernate. Also a power issue is that to make the thing slim enough to feel right, you won’t be able to use a huge battery, which seems to beg for an ARM / Tegra setup. Last, using an x86 chipset like would be necessary to run Windows 7 would mean it’s a hell of a lot more expensive than would be possible if it was an ARM device.

  4. Alan Wilkerson

    09/29/2009 at 6:07 pm

    Great video thanks for the heads up.

  5. Paul Harrigan

    09/29/2009 at 6:30 pm

    I think this is an exciting looking device.

    Frankly, though, I disagree with Joe about Windows 7 and the choice of CPU. The wide variety of business users really screams for having the compatibility of Windows. The key, imo, is to make the hibernation and standby work and make it easy to charge.

  6. Joe

    09/29/2009 at 6:35 pm

    The problem is, they said in the ZDnet article that it won’t run Windows 7 applications unless they’re designed for Courier.

    With that being the case, there’s absolutely no advantage to having the full OS if you can’t run any application you want.

  7. Rob Bushway

    09/29/2009 at 11:03 pm

    Joe – if many of the features like search, reco, multi-touch gestures are all built using windows 7 operating systems, then it makes sense that Windows 7 has to be a foundational part of the system and required

  8. Joe

    09/30/2009 at 12:57 am

    That’s true, though I find it hard to believe that Microsoft wouldn’t have the resources to port that to ARM.

    My preference for ARM aside though… just looking at the concept stuff, even with an Atom it’ll probably be a disaster in the battery arena with x86.

    I just don’t see how something that thin can have a large enough battery to power two screens for any reasonable amount of time. A device like this you need to be able to have with you all day without a charge and still be able to take it out of your bag at a moments notice to maybe take notes for hours on a project.

    Instant-on is also important (from hibernate it really shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds otherwise it’s too long and the thought is gone for many by the time it’s ready). I don’t doubt that that can be optimized to be possible, I’m just really concerned about the battery, and I REALLY want this to succeed.

  9. frblckstr

    10/01/2009 at 5:07 am

    Instant on will be a must if it is to replace something like a paper noteblock (or filofax or…)

    Running all day on one charge is already being done with some netbooks and while using W7 (like my ACER Aspire for example) even the 1.3GHz CPU’s can handle W7 and Aero.
    Hey even my old 900MHz Celeron ASUS R2H can handle W7 although without Aero because of the display adapter.

    But fast resume from sleep: max 1 second to show screen and start writing, a few seconds later the wireless should be active and connected (in the background).
    Smartphone/PocketPC style ‘instant on’ would be even better but those assume that all programs behave and go to a low-power consumtion mode when the screen is turned off.

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