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Microsoft confirms Courier tablet, quashes hopes of shipping it

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
Microsoft has finally confirmed that it has been working on a tablet concept known as "Courier," but the company has also announced that it has "no plans to build such a device at this time."

The evolution of Courier at Microsoft

In 2008, Microsoft floated a mobile collaboration app for Windows Mobile under the name Courier. Nobody seemed to notice, given the overshadowing presence of iPhone 2.0 over the mobile software market.

The following year, Courier tablet concept photos were leaked by Gizmodo. It presented rendered depictions of dual-screen notebook supporting both touch and stylus input. The leak occurred just in time to suggest that Microsoft had big plans in place to rival the iPhone in the mobile arena, much like the introduction of the quickly forgotten Surface in 2007 had served as a temporary distraction from the original iPhone launch.



Shortly after the introduction of Apple's iPad, new pictures were leaked by Engadget depicting the dual screen Courier as a veritable competitor and near twin of the iPad, although there were no real details about availability or pricing.

Microsoft continued to officially promote the Slate PCs introduced in January by PC makers, but bloggers excitedly spoke of Courier as a real product that would ship at the end of 2010, presumably at a reasonable price and with lots of features missing from Apple's iPad.

Courier was also expected to run the same software (and Windows CE operating system) as the company's Zune HD music player and Windows Phone 7 smartphones, creating a counterpoint to Apple's iPhone OS and its App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices.



Today, Frank Shaw, Microsoft's VP of corporate communications, dashed any hopes for Courier in telling Engadget, "At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It's in Microsoft's DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. The 'Courier' project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time."

Engadget mused that "Courier will always remain in our hearts as one of the finest unicorns that ever unicorned across our screens."
post #2 of 101
Suprise surprise surprise.

I am snappy as ginger at being first

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TechnoMinds

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post #3 of 101
"At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It's in Microsoft's DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. "

Too bad nothing noteworthy over the past decade has made it beyond incubation.
post #4 of 101
About a dozen Windows Fanatics screamed in despair.
post #5 of 101
That strikes me a good move on their part.

Despite its ability to rally iPad haters, having a wide physical gutter splitting two small screens is just dumb. Who cares if you can fold it, you've just hobbled your screen real estate in a major way.

Old paradigm.
post #6 of 101
Microsoft talks about prototypes whilst Apple delivers products, not really a shock that the courier will not see the light of day.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #7 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Today, Frank Shaw, Microsoft's VP of corporate communications, dashed any hopes for Courier in telling Engadget, "At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It's in Microsoft's DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. The 'Courier' project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time."

Perhaps this is a thinly-veiled loophole to get out of the "Microsoft Store" debacle too?
post #8 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Perhaps this is a thinly-veiled loophole to get out of the "Microsoft Store" debacle too?

Oooh yes the MS Store! How is that venture going I wonder?
post #9 of 101
BTW. When does JooJoo ship?
post #10 of 101
Maybe Adobe could make a tablet that runs everything in Flash, since it so wonderful? Then Adobe could deliver 'the full web" to everyone?

post #11 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Microsoft talks about prototypes whilst Apple delivers products, not really a shock that the courier will not see the light of day.

Did Microsoft ever spruik it? I'm not sure they did.
post #12 of 101
I just knew this would be worth a Daniel, er, I mean, Prince article.

Daniel, er, I mean, Prince probably had this pre-written!

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #13 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Maybe Adobe could make a tablet that runs everything in Flash, since it so wonderful? Then Adobe could deliver 'the full web" to everyone?


Post of the day!

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #14 of 101
Microsoft didn't cancel the Courier, which never existed. They cancelled a video project that failed to divert attention from Apple's real product. It was meant to compensate for Microsoft's frustration that Apple yet again made them look like clueless fools. So where's all that big R&D money going? Coffee runs? New chairs? A Big-Ass Table(TM)?

Looks like Apple set the bar too high.

Did anyone actually think Microstupid was capable of that . . . thing in the video? They can barely get a stupid mobile phone right, never mind an entirely new platform. That's Apple's territory.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkgray View Post

BTW. When does JooJoo ship?

It already did. If you're lucky, you'll find that road-kill before Gary Busey gets to it.
post #15 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Microsoft talks about prototypes whilst Apple delivers products, not really a shock that the courier will not see the light of day.

yep.

This has been a problem since the start of the year, and last year even. All these folks talking, talking, talking. Showing prototypes and giving vague 'later this year' timelines.

Apple said nothing until they had a real device to show and then it was announced with a much more real timeline. yes it was fudged by about 4 day so put the release on the weekend but that's really nothing compared to 'later this year'.

and while the ipad is selling hand over fist, all but one of those other guys is still 'later'. and that one, our friend the JooJoo isn't even close to competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post

Oooh yes the MS Store! How is that venture going I wonder?

supposedly they are investigating locations for two more stores to open sometime this year.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #16 of 101
"It's in our DNA" and "It's not in our DNA" -- phrases well on their way to blatant overuse. Along with "robust" and "product b is like product a on steroids."
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #17 of 101
I find this so amusing. So what are all those iPad haters who were waiting for the Courier going to do? I guess purchase an HP Slate running Windows 7... oh wait a second?? Palm OS?? HP OS??... hahaha... Or maybe they'll have to purchase Adobe's custom built tablet that runs Flash OS
post #18 of 101
Whaaa? I'm shocked I tell you, shocked!!
You know they probably could have pulled this off if someone had showed them how to do it first.
post #19 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post

Oooh yes the MS Store! How is that venture going I wonder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Perhaps this is a thinly-veiled loophole to get out of the "Microsoft Store" debacle too?

I am fortunate enough to live 10 minutes away from an Apple Store. In the same mall, about 4 stores down is the Microsoft store. I have to pass the Microsoft Store to get to the Apple Store. I can tell you that the MS store is a total joke. Don't get me wrong...the physical plant is beautiful: spacious, good lighting, huge LCD's on the wall...ect. However, it is almost always deserted when compared to the Apple Store. There are always at least 2 or 3 groups of MS employees standing around doing nothing but chatting to each other. One time I decided to count the number of customers in each store:

MS: 10
Apple: 40 or more (I lost count)

The MS store will go down in history as another MS failure...similar to the Seinfeld commercials for Vista.
post #20 of 101
What Shaw said: "...develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity..."

What Shaw meant: "...mash up vaporware mockups to divert as much attention from Apple as possible and to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt among potential Apple buyers..."

What Shaw thought: "...we need to do something. Our major shareholders are getting angry. Apple is killing us in mindshare, their market cap is bigger than ours, and our stock has been flat for years..."

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #21 of 101
Haha, I thought they actually confirmed it was gonna come out. I guess all we have from MS so far is a giant coffee table. Oh well I was actually hoping to see the courier some time this year, and those Engadget vids were pretty appealing. Guess Microsoft blew another opportunity to stay relevant.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #22 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post

Oooh yes the MS Store! How is that venture going I wonder?

I heard that they had a customer last week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Microsoft didn't cancel the Courier, which never existed.

That's not really fair. I'm not sure it was EVER meant to be a Microsoft product.

Microsoft may have been simply exploring touch-based products for incorporation into Windows 7.5 or 8 with the intent that they could release a touch-enable OS and OTHERS would build the hardware.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #23 of 101
Too bad. It was one of the more innovative products from MS.

I don't see it as being in competition with the iPad though. The iPad is a media consumption devices for the average person. The Courier would have been more of a productivity tool...much closer to replacing a PDA or a light laptop really, for a lot of business users.
post #24 of 101
Microsoft probably realized that Apple has already created the Courier. Someone would just buy two wi-fi iPads and put them in one carrying case where the iPads can face each other. One has the web running and the other has everything else running. They can talk to each other through wi-fi. Yes, it would cost $1,000. But at least those Microsoft fans can have their Courier today.
post #25 of 101
MSFT had to can Courier as they ran out of duct tape which they were using to hold two iPads together.

Sent from my iPad.
post #26 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

"It's in our DNA" and "It's not in our DNA" -- phrases well on their way to blatant overuse. Along with "robust" and "product b is like product a on steroids."

One I think that is flogged mercilessly is the term 'ecosystem'.
post #27 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Too bad. It was one of the more innovative products from MS.

What "product'?
post #28 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkgray View Post

BTW. When does JooJoo ship?

What's a joojoo?
post #29 of 101
And a thousand Windows fairies die...
GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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post #30 of 101
Microsoft has massive, massive R&D budgets and they've got TONS of prototypes and technologies that never explicitly become products. It's not a failure, it's just how R&D works. It's not vapourware, it's just how R&D works.

http://research.microsoft.com

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but they do a lot of really cool stuff. Stuff 99% of people here wouldn't understand because it's not shiny, but it's still important. Courier was something they've been experimenting with for years, and things they've learned from Courier have been rolled into Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 and upcoming products.

Again, this is how R&D works. It's also a major tax credit.
post #31 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Microsoft has massive, massive R&D budgets and they've got TONS of prototypes and technologies that never explicitly become products. It's not a failure, it's just how R&D works. It's not vapourware, it's just how R&D works.

http://research.microsoft.com

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but they do a lot of really cool stuff. Stuff 99% of people here wouldn't understand because it's not shiny, but it's still important. Courier was something they've been experimenting with for years, and things they've learned from Courier have been rolled into Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 and upcoming products.

Again, this is how R&D works. It's also a major tax credit.

It is kind of funny though if you go back to the blogs prior to iPad launch and see all the WinBoiz saying they were waiting for the HP Courier and listing its many features that were better than iPad and how it would blow iPad away ... just saying
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #32 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Too bad. It was one of the more innovative products from MS.

I don't see it as being in competition with the iPad though. The iPad is a media consumption devices for the average person. The Courier would have been more of a productivity tool...much closer to replacing a PDA or a light laptop really, for a lot of business users.

I think you confuse innovative with imaginary. I have a list of imaginary products, care to invest?
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #33 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Maybe Adobe could make a tablet that runs everything in Flash, since it so wonderful? Then Adobe could deliver 'the full web" to everyone?


best idea today. Maybe M$ can imagine it into being for them.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #34 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

"It's in our DNA" and "It's not in our DNA" -- phrases well on their way to blatant overuse. Along with "robust" and "product b is like product a on steroids."

Our robust DNA was just thinking outside the box.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #35 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Microsoft has massive, massive R&D budgets and they've got TONS of prototypes and technologies that never explicitly become products. It's not a failure, it's just how R&D works. It's not vapourware, it's just how R&D works.

http://research.microsoft.com

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but they do a lot of really cool stuff. Stuff 99% of people here wouldn't understand because it's not shiny, but it's still important. Courier was something they've been experimenting with for years, and things they've learned from Courier have been rolled into Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 and upcoming products.

Again, this is how R&D works. It's also a major tax credit.

Even when the basic product is not released to market, MS can still claim it as a tax credit, really?
post #36 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

"It's in our DNA" and "It's not in our DNA" -- phrases well on their way to blatant overuse. Along with "robust" and "product b is like product a on steroids."

Did someone already vote for (product)-killer?

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #37 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Did someone already vote for (product)-killer?

No, but that's a comment that really "pops".
post #38 of 101
Consider this: the Courier is actually more imaginary than a perpetual motion machine. With a perpetual motion machine, at least there are some people who are actually trying to build one. The Courier, even its biggest proponent has no plans of building one.

But wait. Maybe Goldman Sachs can package a synthetic security based on Courier futures, then they can hold the short side while all the people drooling over Courier's imaginary features can go long. Would that make the Courier less imaginary?

If a Courier falls in the forest . . .
post #39 of 101
they might as well confirm that the courier is vaporware...

but wait we already know that
post #40 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Microsoft has massive, massive R&D budgets and they've got TONS of prototypes and technologies that never explicitly become products. It's not a failure, it's just how R&D works. It's not vapourware, it's just how R&D works.

http://research.microsoft.com

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but they do a lot of really cool stuff. Stuff 99% of people here wouldn't understand because it's not shiny, but it's still important. Courier was something they've been experimenting with for years, and things they've learned from Courier have been rolled into Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 and upcoming products.

Again, this is how R&D works. It's also a major tax credit.

Yeah, tell that one to the legions of Microsofties on Engadget threatening to commit suicide.
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