Microsoft working on ‘Courier’ booklet device?

“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,” Gizmodo reports. “This is Courier, Microsoft’s astonishing take on the tablet.”

MacDailyNews Take: What’s astonishing about it? That it looks to be 1990’s thick, that it’s stuck running some version of Windows, that it’s vaporous computer graphics with a cartoon demo, or all three?

Gizmodo continues, “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.”

MacDailyNews Take: Blah, blah, blah. It’s not a “booklet,” it’s a “vaporlet.” So, why is this “astounding” CG imagery being emitted right now? Are Microsoft worried that a real device is coming soon from another company? And, careful, Gizmodo: Besides having been PlayedForSure, Multi-Touch™ is a trademark of Apple Inc.

Gizmodo’s full article, complete with more computer generated images and the aforementioned cartoon demo, here.


  1. For starters, Microsloth screwed up on the name. They should have called it the “Furrier”. That way, even if the device totally sucks, Microsloth could still say “Our tablet is furrier than yours!”

  2. Come to think about it, perhaps this has been put out by Apple & Google – to help the few good people in Redmond to jump ship before it is too late.

    I like this comment: “Ballmer’s been going through Jonny Ive’s trash again”.

  3. So after seeing this “demo” does that mean I can order a fully functional flying saucer from Industrial Light and Magic? If a photorealistic model and rendering of something can be produced, that means a fully-functional product can be manufactured, right?

    Oort Cloud, here I come!

    It’s a pretty fantasy, with a few interesting UI concepts, but pure vaporware. Companies churn out this kind of malarkey every day to lure suckers… I mean… impress potential investors.

    Making a nice little “demo” and shipping an actual functioning product are two entirely different things. And Microsoft actually producing something like this is even more preposterous.

    I work in a similar mode now when I’m hunting for specs.
    Open a Safari window on the left. Drag and drop text and images into a Pages document window on the right. Okay, no handwriting recognition or collaborative features, but it all works in a similar fashion. What else you got, MS?

  4. Even in the improbable event that it isn’t vapourware, we’re talking about Microsoft. This thing is guaranteed to be slow, clunky, and frequently crash. As well as feature copious amounts of DRM and proprietary lock-in. It may even spam you with ads, if the ZuneHD is any indication.

    Oh, but at least it looks pracical. It’ll be like a 10 inch screen with a giant black strip of dead space running down the middle, and it can only display images at half the horizontal resolution of a normal 10 inch! Wow! And imagine the fun you’ll have trying to balance it in one hand as you use the other hand to tap on it with the stylus on places far away from its center of gravity! Courier juggling, anyone? And not strenuous on your hand, at all.

    Seriously, there’s a reason nobody has put a tablet like this on the market before. It’s not like it was technically impossible to pull off until now. It’s an ergonomic nightmare with a display that’s gimped out of necessity by the folding gimmick. The idea itself is a poor one, and the fact that Microsoft is the one trying to bring it to fruition(making a crazy assumption for a minute that it isn’t all vapour) is just the icing on the failcake.

    On the otherhand, this might finally be irrefutable proof that Apple’s making a tablet.

  5. I’m voting with Mick James.

    If Apple has anything to do with the rumors, then it was created to get MS to spend a bunch of money making another me-too device that Apple has no interest in.

    Looks like MS took the bait.

    True MS ‘innovatiativeness’. Copying fake Apple products.

  6. “Wow, that is almost as cool as the “Knowledge Navigator” that Apple (under Sculley) envisioned in the 1980s.”

    I haven’t seen that in years! That’s funny. hideous design, too! Look at the size of the video camera lens.
    It’s the computer from Star Trek: Next Generation, minus Majel Barrett’s voice!

  7. @Ralph M

    Wow excellent fine. Add the new Wolfram Alpha? research tool to Apples ease of use UI and you are getting pretty close there.

    iChat video,
    easy UI
    WolfRam Alpha
    apple wifi speakers

    Pretty close. ??? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Just a thought

  8. This was not a demo. It was a computer graphics concept video. It wasn’t real.

    Microsoft is well known for releasing things like this all the time. Like when they kept promising this great new OS Cairo when all they had was Win95. Or when the iPhone was coming out and they trotted out the “Surface” table. This is just another example of MS trying to freeze the market since they have nothing to sell.

  9. @Ronin

    There is a big difference when it comes to corporate competence between Microsoft’s booklet and whatever Apple is doing.

    Microsoft, through the “leak” of this video, is deliberately creating a vaporware product. This thing doesn’t exist, but MS wants the lemmings to believe it does in order to put FUD into the minds of any potential Apple product. As one poster noted, this is the epitome of MS “innovation” – they are copying a device from Apple that may not even exist.

    Apple has made absolutely no announcement, or leaked any details, about a tablet device. It is a rumor, but it is NOT vaporware. As another poster noted, Apple under-promises and over-delivers.

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