It was confirmed on April 29th 2010 that the vaunted, fabled Microsoft Courier Tablet was dead. There was no cause of death reported, except for a quote from Microsoft saying they were not going to pursue the idea now but save the outcome as a basis for upcoming projects. The news has been greeted with universal sadness and anger all over the Internet. If you are one of those who watched with slack-jawed amazement at the “leaked” video showing a mock up of what the Courier would look like and countless articles about it, even one of my own, you understand what is being talked about here and why most would be so upset over its death.
It was the Infinite Journal; no User Interface, Start button or other clutter. This was a leather bound digital notebook, much like what we have all dreamed would be invented, and we groused over the fact that the manufacturers simply could not be bothered to give us one. The combination of Multi-Touch and pen interface made me weep. “Finally!” I thought, the device that would free me forever from the tyranny of the keyboard and the desk. Alas, it would seem that Microsoft was just teasing us. That is just mean `ole Bill Gates for you… I mean, come on; really?
The Painful Truth
Microsoft let this particularly mean-spirited tease go on right up until the point that rumors that production was soon to begin had flared up. One professional was told, from an un-named source, that it would be running Windows 7 with an adaptation of the Microsoft Surface Table on top. There was even a description of the origins of the project as being an extension of the OneNote concept. For those of you who are familiar with Microsoft OneNote you know the pain of being led to believe that a OneNote “device” was coming and then, “poof” it is gone. It seemed too good to be true, and as it turned out it was. Or was it? There are those who now say that the features and power would have been too demanding to fit onto the platform, or that the technology is not quite ready yet. To them I say “humbug!” They can do it, they could do it now, they chose not to… Or so we thought.
The Hidden Rainbow
This is not the end of the story though and with Microsoft’s teasing ways, it rarely is. Microsoft has just recently announced in March, maybe even earlier for some, about the coming of the two KIN phones. The KIN-ONE and the KIN-TWO, to be exact. These are the new cellphones (no-not smartphones!) Microsoft will be bringing to market in a month or two. Sharp will manufacture them and they really DO exist-and not as a concept as the Courier was. Not in development stages, either. The reason why this is important is that these new phones will sport some of the De.lic.ous. Courier Concept Tablet-like goodness. Some of the functions that the Courier mockup drove us to frenzy with are going to find a home on the tiny screens of these “non-smartphone” phones targeted at socialnetwork crazy kids and adults (if that is your thing) and they are actually called “Social Networking” phones.
Really, Do I Have To?
So while you will have to continue to go, hat in hand, to Apple (Microsoft’s sworn enemy?) for your tablet dreams, your kids will be enjoying all of that Courieresque Coolness on their simple kid cellphones. NOT FAIR ECM (Extra Crispy Mean)!
Gee guys, we supported you and made you rich and powerful why, oh why? But there’s hope yet, if these pieces are going to be coming out on the KIN running Windows Phone 7, then maybe….maybe? I guess I will have to do a follow up on the phones themselves then and see what they are all gaa-gaa about…
OK Microsoft, you asked for it-Next up… The KIN One & KIN Two!
Gizmodo: Microsoft Cancels Innovative Courier Tablet Project