'Courier' rumored to be one of many Microsoft prototypes

The unveiling of Microsoft's new Courier booklet device prototype by Gizmodo today got a lot of people excited; whilst this is great news, there may be more announcements to come, according to CNET. Sources have told them that the Redmond software company has a few more prototypes baking in the oven, though it's unclear whether or not they'll see the light of retail shelves.

The project, led by executive J. Allard, has been working under high confidentiality; Microsoft even moved the team away from the main campus on Redmond, apparently, to keep things under wraps. This meant that even those working at Microsoft were surprised at its existence, though it still stands the chance of not even coming to the market. It's expected that it will, though, as Microsoft founder Bill Gates long wanted to have an official tablet-like product sold with the company brand on it.

Microsoft Research originally worked on the project nearly a year ago. The originaly concept involved pairing two OQO models to make a booklet mobile computer. You can see the original concept idea for this in the video below. Thanks to Manan for the tip.

If there are other products being developed under secrecy, don't expect them to be unveiled any time soon... if Microsoft really is determined to keep things quiet, then they'll definitely tighten security after the Courier was shown earlier. Of course, this could also be a marketing technique to draw some focus away from the rumored Apple tablet. Either way, the future of Microsoft is very interesting.

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this is great and all but what void is this filling in my gadget filled life? i have a cell phone i use for phone calls and messages. I have a laptop for everything else....

Initially I was sorta leaning towards "good idea, bad implementation", but then as the video progressed, I thought it was just a bad idea, bad implementation--plain and simple.

I just don't see it. I don't see why both participants should be hiding their screens away from each other in that 'collaboration mode' (for lack of better terms) where each screen faces each user. What's the advantage of this over any number of existing shared whiteboard type of application?

As for everything else demonstrating how it uses both displays independently, I don't see how this is any better than having a multimonitor setup.

So what's left that sets this apart from existing solutions? The fact that it's touchscreen? Meh...

_dandy_ said,
I just don't see it. I don't see why both participants should be hiding their screens away from each other in that 'collaboration mode' (for lack of better terms) where each screen faces each user.


Maybe if the other participant is sitting on the other side of the table?

_dandy_ said,
I just don't see it. I don't see why both participants should be hiding their screens away from each other in that 'collaboration mode' (for lack of better terms) where each screen faces each user. What's the advantage of this over any number of existing shared whiteboard type of application?

Poker App. Discussion over.

Ozood said,
Poker App. Discussion over.

Yes, this will be the killer application, convincing businesses everywhere to snap up 1000s of these devices.

That video refers to the Apple Computer Knowledge Navigator concept, which is a pretty interesting (albeit unrealistic) one.

(snipped) Anyways, this is a nice way to keep track of stuff... i mean like first u can save alot of trees and second its handy! Its great for college, uni or even at work! Its only a prototype but its awesome already!

spicyjoe said,
(snipped) Anyways, this is a nice way to keep track of stuff... i mean like first u can save alot of trees and second its handy! Its great for college, uni or even at work! Its only a prototype but its awesome already!

So Microsoft has a team out there dreaming up these product, producing great looking videos, but I just get the feeling that there is nothing there. Do they have an engineering team working on this? I mean, they can't even get WinMo 7 out before end of the next year, now they are bringing out new products?

Are they losing focus, producing FUD, or ramping on a huge onslaught?