How Windows killed the Courier tablet

Image courtesy of engadget.

CNET released a report about how Microsoft was presented with two competing tablet ideas, and their decision eventually became Windows 8, rather than the technologically infamous Courier.

For the uninitiated, the Courier was a dual-screen tablet, representing a notepad that captured the passionate inspiration of tech journalists across the globe in 2009.  As you can see in the video below, it presented something that was much more for the creative consumer, showing options of use that exceed the ideas of content creation that are already present nowadays.  So why was it killed off?  This is what Jay Greene's report for CNet answers.

Turns out that at the time, the team that created the Courier (headed by J Allard) was using a modified version of Windows, which fell into distaste with Microsoft Windows head Steven Sinofsky and even Bill Gates himself.  The proposition of a device saw something with all of the likes of Office technology and advanced productivity applications stripped away for a simple UI of creativity.  Productivity, of course, being something that Microsoft is famous for didn't do the tablet-book any favours, as Gates didn't see it fit into an Office-centric world.  There wasn't any press shoot-down of the device like many have said, we were all infact rather excited about the possibilities of the device.  Turns out it contradicted with the standard Microsoft product development and strategy policy.

"It's in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time."  These were the last words of Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw on the Courier, putting the final rumblings to bed.  

And now we've got Windows 8.  Take a look at what we thought of it (along with a video demo at University of Lincoln); but we have to admit, we'd prefer the prestige, the zazzyness, of the Courier tablet.  May we see you some day soon.