Tech Microsoft Courier Tablet/Various Tablet Discussion

Charles

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Jan 5, 2007
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http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/05/microsofts-courier-digital-journal-exclusive-pictures-and-de/



We've been dying to know more about Microsoft's Courier tablet / e-book device ever since we first caught wind of it last September, and while our entreaties to Mr. Ballmer went unanswered, we just learned some very interesting information from an extremely trusted source. 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 5x7 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.

As we've heard, the interface appears to be pen-based and centered around drawing and writing, with built-in handwriting recognition and a corresponding web site that allows access to everything entered into the device in a blog-like format complete with comments. We're also hearing that there will be a built-in camera, and there's a headphone jack for media playback. Most interestingly, it looks like the Courier will also serve as Microsoft's e-book device, with a dedicated ecosystem centered around reading. It all sounds spectacular, but all we have for a launch date is "Q3 / Q4", and we have no idea how much it's going to cost, so we're trying to maintain a healthy skepticism until any of this gets official -- call us any time, Microsoft. One more pic showing the interface after the break.

Update: We've added a gallery of user interface shots -- some of which we've seen and some of which are new.

Update 2: We've just gotten two full-length HD videos of the interface in action. We've seen parts of these before, but there's some new stuff here that's quite interesting. Check it below.
Side note...if it's running Win CE 6, it might not have Flash out of the box, but there is an easy install cab file for it. Oh, and a pen interface (perhaps even a finger) that recognizes/translate writing (shorthand???) seems the best option. For a phone, yes typing, but something this large (relatively speaking), writing would be faster. I could also foresee a virtual keyboard, just in case, being designed for one side to where it would work like a traditional laptop.

Thoughts?
 

RaeBelle

The Commish
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Jan 15, 2008
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I've been partially in love with the Courier since it was first revealed. It looks like it might be geared towards more 'creative' types, which I am not. However, I still want to learn more about it. This looks so intriguing. I really wish Microsoft would release more and more about it.
 

ILuvShopping

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Jun 4, 2007
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from just looking at the photo it makes me think of an electronic doodle/sketch pad. which honestly... i would love.
 

RaeBelle

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Charles, I want to know when they are actually going release this sucker, the price point, and who they are actual target audience is.
 

Vendrazi

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I have to say....I'll believe it when I see it (with firm ship dates and actual demos and stuff). MS has a habit of announcing things that don't ever come to fruition, mostly to throw off their competition.
 

Charles

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Jan 5, 2007
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Charles, I want to know when they are actually going release this sucker, the price point, and who they are actual target audience is.
Price is supposed to be around $400, and 3rd quarter, so July??

Vendrazi....they have a video of the thing, so there are production models out. I don't see why it won't be coming out soon.
 

Vendrazi

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The video on the Engadget page is all mockup stuff -- video created to show what the product should look like, but is not an actual product in action. Do they have video of the actual product? It's a lot harder to make an actual product than it is a mockup.
 

Charles

Sucks at budgeting
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What do you want me to say? It's never going to come out? I'm just posting the article. If you don't want to believe it, OK. I don't seen why they'd release details of it back in Sept, now releasing a "mock up" vid, then not release an actual product...especially given the iPad and the Slate coming out, but speculate what you want.

You say they have a habit of doing that, what other products did they say were going to come out, but didn't?
 

Vendrazi

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If you Google "Microsoft FUD" (FUD="fear, uncertainty, and doubt") you can see many stories of where they announced things that were coming, usually right after a competitor announced something similar. They would announce it in order to make their customers think twice about going to the competitor -- "Why would I go with X when I can stay with Microsoft and not rock any boats?"

Then there would be delays...or even outright never mentioning the product again. In the meantime, X has been killed.
 

Charles

Sucks at budgeting
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Jan 5, 2007
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Ok, I did. Most of it was geared towards Linux and how MS would trash them by saying they were infringing patents, saying computers wouldn't work correctly while running Linux, etc. How is that related to them saying they're releasing a product, then not doing it? I couldn't find any specific examples of that from the first Google search page. What am I missing?
 

RaeBelle

The Commish
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Jan 15, 2008
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Wouldn't vaporware be a better team for something announced and never released?

I believe the Courier was announced last September, before any real competing devices. I can't actually think of any devices that would compete with the Courier.