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Part 2 of How Microsoft Killed the Courier Tablet



Yesterday we linked to Jay Greene’s CNet post that offered up some background on how Microsoft made the decision to end the life of the Courier Tablet. As promised Greene has a part 2 up today. Both posts make for good reading, although Part 2 is more about the background and the differences between J Allard and Steven Sinfosky that set up the clash of cultures talked about in part 1.

There is one piece of interesting news in part 2.

It’s clear Allard still harbors some passion for Courier. Shortly after the project was killed, two developers from the Seattle suburbs, Benjamin Monnig and Ricky Drake, decided to bring the Courier concept to the iPad. They turned to Kickstarter to fund the app, dubbed Tapose, which is slated to debut near Thanksgiving. The duo quickly raised $26,561 on the site and roughly $100,000 more in private investments, Monnig said. One of the largest backers, according to Monnig: J Allard.

“J has been an adviser to me and our team,” Monnig said. “He has made sure to keep enough distance, but has helped guide us in the right direction.”

It will be interesting to see how that turns out here in the near future.




  1. GTaylor

    11/02/2011 at 8:21 am

    This:”Microsoft makes almost as much money licensing patents to
    HTC, Samsung and other companies as it does selling Windows Phone 7
    devices.” from Josh Smith’s 9/29/11 article has me wondering why don’t the big big Softies at M spin off products like TV producers after a hot season.
    The Courier vs. O and E argument just doesn’t make sense in that landscape (early 2010). What’s the risk? Their core Off. and Enter. demographic isn’t known for chasing fads, trends, and cool things that go pop in the night… that group is still wed to XP for crying out loud! I am too, come to that.
    And am I supposed to believe that in early 2010 BG couldn’t separate a slick creative product from his enterprise core? Those people launched the squirting Zune, SPOT, and the Kin twins. No, for me this story sounds more like urban myth, or urban cover story.
    All of the big guys want to always leave the customer wanting more.

  2. HildyJ

    11/02/2011 at 9:04 am

    The history is interesting but, if you want to delve a year further back in time, check out Ken Hinkley’s work on InkSeine and his speculations on a dual screen tablet from the Microsoft Research Community:

    • Anonymous

      11/02/2011 at 9:10 am

      You’re exactly right HildyJ. Don’t think Courier and Hinkley’s don’t have a lot in common.

    • GTaylor

      11/02/2011 at 9:25 am

      Nice job Ken. Have three years refined your project? Using it as a desktop extender would be useful in this sit on the couch and work age.

  3. griz8791

    11/02/2011 at 7:52 pm

    OK, wait. Isn’t this Sinofsky — the guy who is leading MS’s response to the iPad — the same ex-Office guy who turned up his nose at the Tablet PC OS and refused to permit any modifications to Office that would make it ink-friendly?

    THIS is the guy who is spear-heading their still-not-ready response to the iPad?


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