Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Hardware Technology

Microsoft "Courier" Pictures 230

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bandwagon-or-shark-jumping dept.
tekgoblin writes to let us know that Gizmodo has some early shots of the new prototype "Courier" booklet (foldable tablet) on the way from Microsoft. "Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the 'late prototype' stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They're connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft "Courier" Pictures

Comments Filter:
  • Wrong link (Score:5, Informative)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:31PM (#31376448) Journal

    The article linked in the summary goes to wrong link (the same we discussed about in September [slashdot.org])

    Correct article with info [gizmodo.com]. Picture gallery is here [engadget.com].

    I must admit it does look awesome though. It's just perfect for use on sofa, as booklet is held like, well, a book. Laptop nor tablet aren't as nice and comfortable. There's no way I'll be buying the locked down tablet-like iPad when this is coming up.

    • Re:Wrong link (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:55PM (#31376690) Journal
      I find your optimism that this device won't be locked down interesting...

      Back when rumor first started, it was about a Windows 7 based device. That wouldn't have been "open" in the FSF sense; but it would have implied the continuation of Microsoft's historical commitment to backwards compatibility and 3rd party developers(yes, they can and have crushed the 3rd party developers who got in their way like bugs; but they are otherwise overjoyed to have people writing stuff that depends on their platforms).

      The currently displayed model is Win CE based, and almost definitely the new Windows CE, the one with no backwards compatibility and all managed code, and still uncertain application distribution mechanisms, and integration with the locked-down worlds of zune and xbox. CE 6.5 and earlier were tottering heaps of suck; but they were open in a manner similar to desktop Windows(at least when your mobile carrier hadn't been messing with them).

      Since Microsoft is currently getting hammered in the smartphone and embedded space, there is strong reason to believe that they will(simply of necessity) be more benevolent to developers than Apple is(perhaps a nicer revenue split, less jerking around, cheap dev tools, whatever); but there is no particular reason to suspect that they will be anything other than a (comparatively) benevolent overlord.
      • Re:Wrong link (Score:5, Informative)

        by dhavleak (912889) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:09PM (#31376808)

        You are confusing Windows CE and Windows Mobile. They aren't the same thing (not even close in fact). Windows Mobile runs on Windows CE. Windows CE is a kernel + a bunch of modules that you can strip/add depending on your needs for your embedded device.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cupantae (1304123)

          So Windows CE is like Linux with the standard GNU utilities and Windows Mobile is like Ubuntu.

          Sorry to all you Windows geeks out there, but I just thought somebody better put it in a way that the n00bs who don't go messing with their computers can understand it.

          • You mean all the n00bs who know what "standard GNU utilities" are?

            I don't think your analogy is very good but I'd say Windows CE is more like a linux kernel without the standard GNU utilities. I believe most Windows CE software development takes place on a standard PC, not the target environment.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'm fine with that - I want one of these so bad, you could probably just charge me now :D

        I am a HUGE moleskine nut, and the one-note style interface is great, because I'm a complete one-note addict. This basically pushes all my buttons, which the iPad did not.

        We'll see how it translates into reality, of course. That's always different :)

      • Re:Wrong link (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Buelldozer (713671) <{cliff} {at} {gindulis.net}> on Friday March 05, 2010 @07:00PM (#31377180)

        Is there a particular reason to believe that they WILL lock it down?

        I haven't seen any evidence of them doing that with any other platform they've released with the exception of Xbox360 and Xbox Live.

        Their Desktop and Mobile operating systems have been paragon's of "openness" from the standpoint of installing applications and I really don't see why they'd change this.

        You can accuse me of being an MS FanBoi if you want but this post was typed in a Chrome browser and there is a Moto Droid strapped to my hip.

        • Re:Wrong link (Score:4, Informative)

          by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... OLo.com minus la> on Friday March 05, 2010 @07:51PM (#31377456) Homepage Journal

          Even the Xbox 360 (and Zune, which you didn't mention) support homebrew software - mostly, but not entirely, games - via XNA. You're limited to the APIs that XNA provides, but you can compile it for the platform in question, it will run on it. Microsoft even has a supported channel for distribution of XNA games on Xbox Live, although you can also just download the applicaiton off the web (using a PC) and move it to your Xbox 360 or Zune/Zune HD.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Tjp($)pjT (266360)
        I would not count on cheap dev tools from Microsoft. Even when Apple shipped two 3rd party commercial compilers as well as there own Mac pascal products with ETO (their big developers kit) Apple seeded and continues to see paid developers with early releases for a cheap price, $249 for ETO renewal at one point, versus $1700 to renew my Microsoft "Universal" kit. And now Apple has looked at the success of the iPhone SDK at $99 and is lowering the Mac SDK to $99 as well (they do lose a few benefits like hardw
    • Here's another snazzy vid (first one after the brief article). http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/05/microsofts-courier-digital-journal-exclusive-pictures-and-de/ [engadget.com]

      I don't care who makes new tech, I just care that it work like I need/want it to. I hope msft delivers, but after surface and photosynth (which I don't think has been put to any amazing uses), I'm extremely skeptical. I hope they make it happen though. This looks great.
    • Re:Wrong link (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wingsy (761354) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @05:23AM (#31379786)
      "There's no way I'll be buying the locked down tablet-like iPad when this is coming up."

      Well at least MS scored a direct hit with one sucker. Announcing a product still in its initial concept phase has one and only one purpose: to prevent you from buying a competitor's product long enough for them to develop something that might compete.

      Some day your dreams may come true. I wish you luck.
  • by Pop69 (700500)
    It's all just so much "me too" vapourware from Microsoft
    • Exactly. Similar to how the iPod was "me too" in response to the already existing DAP market, or how the iPad is a "me too" to tablet PC's that have been around for a decade.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by samkass (174571)

        Sure, and the tablet PCs are a "me too" to the Newton and eMate, etc. The difference is that you can actually buy iPods and you'll be able to order an iPad next week for delivery about a month from now. These leaks from Microsoft are just an attempt to spread FUD and suppress iPad sales until Microsoft can whip up a competing product. Fortunately, Microsoft's typical "suppress innovation until we're ready with an almost-ran" tactic isn't going to work very well against Apple because of their momentum wit

        • by dave562 (969951)

          A Wall Street Journal article quoted Apple as anticipating selling 6 million iPads in the first year. We will see whether or not the can manage that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by peragrin (659227)

        MSFT has been doing tablets for almost a decade. however it took apple to design a smart phone with a tablet interface.

        the ipad will blow away windows based tablets because you can't take a desktop GUI and shove it onto a tablet and call it a tablet OS. it is something that no one else seems willing to fully do but apple.

        It will take MSFt 3 years to duplicate the iphones major interface elements for touch screens. MSFt spends $9 billion in R&D and they get crap for it.

    • It's all just so much "me too" vapourware from Microsoft

      It's definitely not a "me too" device. At least I've not seen anything else in this form factor.

    • by Shag (3737) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:08PM (#31376796) Homepage

      When Microsoft says "late prototype" I read it as "we've got nothing, really, but if we say we're about to release something, a non-zero percentage of the market will sit on their thumbs until we do, instead of buying actual products that are actually available from other sources, because by golly, we're Microsoft."

      (Yes, I know, it actually works. And no, I don't think that's a very nice tactic.)

      • Replace "Microsoft" with "Apple" and your statement works just as well. It's been nearly a year since the first leaks from Apple about a mystery tablet, and you can't tell me that those leaks weren't meant to drum up interest before a product even existed. At least Microsoft is presenting a coherent thesis here- this is the moleskin notebook of the future, a device on which to jot, sketch and annotate. In case it's unclear, this could and should replace laptops in schools. Every creative professional- autho
  • Courier? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gerald (9696) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:37PM (#31376510) Homepage

    What if I want a Comic Sans?

    • by Virak (897071)

      Well you can't always get what you want. And roving bands of angry, pitchfork-wielding graphic designer vigilantes make sure that fans of Comic Sans never get what they want. They'll be at your door shortly.

    • What if I want a Comic Sans?

      I suspect you will be made to use Arial.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)

      What if I want a Comic Sans?

      Call the suicide hotline, or avoid mentioning your desire for the font whose name we don't speak of.

  • Booklet? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:38PM (#31376516) Homepage Journal

    MS's ability to name things has always be bad.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dotgain (630123)
      You have to admit, ever since "squirt", things can only get better.
    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      What's wrong with booklet though? I think it's quite illustrative as it has two screens and you hold it like a book, and close the same way too.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        What's wrong with booklet though?

        The booklet is a Microsoft initiative (no, I won't write "Microsoft" with a dollar sign) and this is Slashdot. This booklet could cost five dollars, include a free phone, cure cancer and have a battery life of 9.5 years on a single charge and it would still be considered the most evil device ever created, ranking right up there with child-maiming landmines.

        • by IANAAC (692242)

          This booklet could cost five dollars, include a free phone, cure cancer and have a battery life of 9.5 years on a single charge and it would still be considered the most evil device ever created, ranking right up there with child-maiming landmines.

          I'm no MS fan, but really?

          I mean, if you don't like a company, just don't buy their products. I certainly don't and I can function just fine without them. There are plenty of choices these days.

        • You may be right, and for good reason - for all those tantalizing features would be paired with equal evils.

          - The free phone would only work through MSN.
          - The cancers cured would be unpopular, and only those of the target demographic.
          - 9.5 years of battery life - when used according to a reverse-engineered use case, derived from massaged statistics. Likely lots of standby and minimal 'push-only' feature use, again through MSN.

          Bleh.

          Productized technology makes me grimace. I don't want orange juice at an inf

        • What if the landmines run Linux?

          Imagine a beowulf cluster of those!
      • What's wrong with booklet though?

        Well, for starters it might be tough to get a trademark on the term "booklet". The term "booklet" is too generic and not distinctive enough that people would associate it with only the Microsoft product of the same name; iPad is a distinctive trademarked term whereas "booklet" is not.

    • Re:Booklet? (Score:5, Funny)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:57PM (#31376712) Journal
      By the time this moves from prototype to release, "Booklet" will seem like the soul of wit.

      "Microsoft Booklet Live Mobility Series Professional Edition" rolls off only the nimblest of tongues...
    • Re:Booklet? (Score:5, Funny)

      by pitchpipe (708843) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:31PM (#31376982)

      MS's ability to name things has always be bad.

      Maybe Microsoft's wit for naming things is rubbing off on Apple. I mean really, iPad!?

      Heh, Microsoft could say this is like an iPad, but with wings.

    • Re:Booklet? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:35PM (#31377008)

      This soon after the iPad is announced, 'Booklet' is considered a bad name? Really?

  • Pre? (Score:2, Insightful)

    an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.

    It's a bad sign that the Palm Pre comparisons have already started. If this thing winds up being to the iPad what the Pre is to the iPhone, it's already dead. It will have great promise and hope that will be dashed as soon as you try to use the thing. Sort of like a Democratic majority in Congress....

    • Never mind that inductive charging is an inefficient waste of power. I hope the EPA comes down hard on this and denies EnergyStar certification for anyone who attempts this with a full power computer.

    • by DAldredge (2353)
      Would you please stop killing /. ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Totenglocke (1291680)

      It will have great promise and hope that will be dashed as soon as you try to use the thing. Sort of like a Democratic majority in Congress....

      Flawed analogy - rational people actually expected the iPad to be useful before we found out the details. I've yet to meet someone rational who actually expected anything worthwhile from a Democratic majority in Congress.

  • yes, (Score:5, Funny)

    by sadtrev (61519) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:46PM (#31376602) Homepage

    but does it run Linux?

  • What's it going to cost?

    If it weighs in at $1000, I'll pass. $299 and I'll buy three of them. Okay, maybe not, but I'll really want to.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      This.

      At $200 the decision to get one would be easy: Buy one.
      At $300 then it might be a tough decision for me: Try first.
      At $400 its an easy decision again: Don't buy one.

      It doesnt have to be a tablet or netbook killer. The form factor is suitable for more than what a touch-phone can comfortably offer, while tablets are too damn big to be something that I will want to carry around all the time. This booklet form factor looks to me to be just about the largest size that will still comfortably fit into t
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:00PM (#31376724) Homepage

    Watching the demo, I just can't understand why Microsoft seems so obsessed with the idea that everybody's going to want to interact with a computer using a pen.

    Think about it. Let's say you're collaborating on a project with somebody, and he's done a lot of brainstorming about it. He comes to a meeting with a stack of notebooks where he's written down all his ideas. What's the first thing he says? "Sorry about my handwriting."

    Even I apologize for my handwriting, and I have the handwriting of a comic-book letterer -- when I want to. The thing is, writing neatly takes a lot of time. It's much faster to use upper and lower case than block capitals, for starters, and it's faster to use cursive than printing. And even faster than that to just scrawl it out any way you can.

    But you know what's even faster than that? Typing on a computer keyboard.

    Microsoft first got on this kick with OneNote, its note-taking application, which it seemed to want to market as the killer app for tablet PCs. And by that I mean the first generation of tablet PCs. You know the ones. You didn't buy one. For some reason, Microsoft was pushing really hard for this idea that everybody would be walking around with tablet PCs, scribbling notes into OneNote with pens.

    Now, I use OneNote every day. But while I have a nice-sized Wacom tablet sitting right here on my desk, which comes with a very nice, contoured stylus that fits very nicely in my hand, never once have I been inspired to plug the thing in to scrawl off some notes in OneNote. Not when there's a keyboard sitting right in front of me. Not when I know that if I simply type in my thoughts, OneNote won't have to try to OCR my scrawls in order to make the text searchable. Not when I know that storing a bitmap to save a six-word thought is a waste of space.

    So in this Courier demo we not only have someone scribbling notes on a notepad -- which conveniently resembles an onscreen Moleskine notebook, because everybody knows people like their computers to model real-life things that are less efficient than computers, even when the computer doesn't much resemble that real-life thing -- but at one point the person draws a box around those notes, taps on it and the box turns into ... a highlighted yellow version of that wobbly, hand-drawn box.

    That might be all well and good if I was a bright-eyed fresh college grad like the eager woman in the demo, and my life was accompanied by a wistful accoustic indie-rock soundtrack. But in real life, if I was being jostled back and forth on the noisy subway on my way home and I drew that box and it popped up on my screen looking all fucked-up like I just drew it, the first thing that would cross my mind would be, "God dammit, why is this computer so stupid that it can't tell I was trying to draw a box just now? Why won't it just make a rectangle? Drawing boxes was so much fucking easier when all I had to do is click my mouse button, hold it and drag."

    This UI goes beyond a solution looking for a problem. It's a way of actively making it harder for me to get work done with a computer.

    It reminds me of all the VRML hype from years back. People were predicting that in the future, we wouldn't type URLs into a Web browser. We'd fire up our Avatars and fly to places on the Web in 3-D graphics. We would walk through virtual libraries, pulling electronic books off 3-D shelves. We'd ride dragons to meeting rooms where we'd chat with other avatars in real time. And all I could think was, "WTF? So we've just invented the Internet, this miraculous thing that puts the world of information right at your fingertips, no matter where you are, so that all you have to do is type a couple things and the information instantly appears on your screen... and you want to impose a 3-D spatial paradigm on it? Instead of calling up information out of thin air, you want to have to hike down the virtual block to get it? You call that progress?"

    Same thing with this tablet idea. People are too stu

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      While I agree with you, not everybody can type 50 WPM. Microsoft doesn't make products for you and me, they make products for stupid people -- no, really, I think that's their target audience. Why use a stylus? People said the same thing about the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointing) interface, i.e. "Why use a GUI when command line is faster and offers more options". The answer is obvious: because clicking Start, then Shutdown is much easier to remember (and harder to screw up) than typing "shutdown -h
    • by L3370 (1421413)
      Well if it includes handwriting recognition I don't think it will be of much concern. I've sampled Microsofts handwriting recognition on their tablet devices that are out now. I am very impressed with its capability. My handwriting is readable, but in no way pretty. It picks it up. I saw someone else write with it. He has a handwriting style that is a weird mixture of standard AND cursive writing and it still picked it up.

      If this (potential) future product can do what current products can, handwriting nea
      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        No handwriting recognition system is going to have the speed or accuracy of a keyboard; at least not in the near future. By the time you've got the spare CPU cycles and context-sensitive parsing to do 100% accurate handwriting recognition, you'll be better off using voice recognition, which not only supports the people that can't type, but also functional illiterates... like your average facebook member.
      • by am 2k (217885)

        If this (potential) future product can do what current products can, handwriting neatness will be of no concern.

        My handwriting is so bad that frequently I can't read it myself afterwards. You guess the software can do that for me then?

    • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:14PM (#31376854)

      I just can't understand why Microsoft seems so obsessed with the idea that everybody's going to want to interact with a computer using a pen.

      because I could walk around holding the courier with one hand and writing stuff/accessing it with another even if I'm wearing gloves?

      virtual keyboards like the iphone/ipad are not very good for using them on the go in my opinion, and a pen-based interface can work a lot better.

      • by martinX (672498) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:27PM (#31376950)

        I don't think you could. Try it out now. Walking and writing on a paper pad at the same time is going to result in a slow walk and messy writing. An app that has been well designed for the iPad (and other keyboard interfaces) would work with the idea that there is no pen and make it as easy as possible for the user to use them.

        As a far-out example, using FCP is a lot easier once you memorise the (thousand or so...) keyboard shortcuts whereas an equivalent app on the iPad wouldn't have you using a virtual keyboard but would make use of the touch and multi-touch features to the best advantage of the user. These are completely different devices to a PC on a desk and so require a developer to, well, Think Different.

    • by BobMcD (601576) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:31PM (#31376986)

      Wow, where to begin... This looks good:

      It reminds me of all the VRML hype from years back. People were predicting that in the future, we wouldn't type URLs into a Web browser. We'd fire up our Avatars and fly to places on the Web in 3-D graphics. We would walk through virtual libraries, pulling electronic books off 3-D shelves. We'd ride dragons to meeting rooms where we'd chat with other avatars in real time. And all I could think was, "WTF? So we've just invented the Internet, this miraculous thing that puts the world of information right at your fingertips, no matter where you are, so that all you have to do is type a couple things and the information instantly appears on your screen... and you want to impose a 3-D spatial paradigm on it? Instead of calling up information out of thin air, you want to have to hike down the virtual block to get it? You call that progress?"

      I wonder if you're familiar with Second Life [secondlife.com]?

      And yes, for many, it is considered progress. Or at least it was. I'm not sure how many big corps are still onboard, but there were buzzings of private servers for employee training and the like. Anyway it turns out that while it hasn't applied to the web as a whole, people really did cotton to that idea. Lots of people. Even some important ones.

      Same thing with this tablet idea. People are too stupid to use computers, apparently, so you want to use all the power of a computer to enable them to do things like they would if all they had was a stack of paper and a Bic -- because that's what they're supposedly comfortable with.

      Taking your finger and pointing it is about as basic as it gets. Using a pen is just an extension of that. Paper made it more portable than cave walls. People aren't all that keen on using keyboards everywhere they go because they're simply not natural. How many of those full-size, fold-able keyboards sold as accessories to cell phones really see any daily use?

      I think the device looks like an innovative approach to 'infinite paper', which is basically what the videos bill it out to be. It looks like a huge step beyond what tablets presently mean, and seems to offer it in a better form factor.

      Meanwhile your desktop will be right where you last left it, with the keyboard still attached.

      I guess I'm not quite sure what you're rambling about, but I'm pretty certain the words you are searching for involve 'kids' and 'off' and 'lawn'.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Angostura (703910)

        You speak like someone who has heard of 2nd Life but hasn't used it much. The original poster's point is valid: Try to find some information regarding IBM on the Web - type www.ibm.com Now do the same with SL - go, i'll wait until you come back.

        OK?

        The truth about 2nd life as information medium is encapsulated in your comment "Or at least it was"

        Just because someone can see a gimmick is a gimmick doesn't mean that they are involved in protecting their patch of turf.

    • Like the iPad, it seems to me to be a device in search of a market that doesn't exist. I just don't see the need/demand for something like a laptop, but not a laptop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by edumacator (910819)

        I'd represent a small vertical market, but as a teacher, the idea of having something like this that is portable and with the capacity to wirelessly connect to a projector makes me salivate...

        I already use a wireless slate connected to a desktop, but my sometimes less-than-legible handwriting and drawings always are more entertaining than the lesson itself. Still, I'm able to sit next to little Billy at the back of the room while taking notes on the "board." That kind of freedom is wonderful.

        Connect the abi

    • And if I want to draw a picture? How do I accomplish that with my keyboard?

      How about if I want to "do the math" on an equation where I need to go step by step? What then?

      I understand what you're saying but the keyboard isn't the end all device for input. It's not even close to covering many things that people would like to do with their computers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      Sounds like what you want is a laptop. You should buy one of those instead.

    • This UI goes beyond a solution looking for a problem. It's a way of actively making it harder for me to get work done with a computer.

      Yes. This will make most tasks people perform primarily on a desktop/laptop computer more difficult and/or less efficient. However, for those millions of us that find ourselves frequently away from our laptops/desktops, the Courier would seem to provide a great deal of functionality as a simple web browser, notepad, personal calendar, and organizer - but with infinite paper. Basement dwellers need not apply - you'll always have your keyboard within arms reach.

    • by dhavleak (912889)

      Man.. what a long and pointless rant.

      Nobody says handwriting is better/faster. The articles / videos about Courier aren't portraying it to be the next evolution in input devices. It's just a different form factor, and a purpose-built device, and for that purpose the pen works better than a keyboard.

      Relax a bit...

    • I get your point, and it's a good one, I do think you are oversimplifying the input capacity. This is about marketing, so they would show the most "innovative" features that would provide the Wow! factor. I'm hoping they would actually include the capacity for an onscreen keyboard and they just aren't showing it.

      Even still, I can think of a lot of situations where this would be a good tool. Keyboards aren't always easy for drawing pictures...or things like that, so there is a place for that type of input. A

    • But in real life, if I was being jostled back and forth on the noisy subway on my way home and I drew that box and it popped up on my screen looking all fucked-up like I just drew it, the first thing that would cross my mind would be, "God dammit, why is this computer so stupid that it can't tell I was trying to draw a box just now? Why won't it just make a rectangle? Drawing boxes was so much fucking easier when all I had to do is click my mouse button, hold it and drag."

      This UI goes beyond a solution looking for a problem. It's a way of actively making it harder for me to get work done with a computer.

      I think you're scraping a much bigger problem here that Microsoft totally missed while rushing on creating a competitor to the iPad, even though Apple specifically explained it in their promotional video: The whole user interface isn't intuitive! You actually have to learn where to tap to do what, etc. For example, I would never have expected that dragging a contact to a page shares that page with this person.

      The result of this is that the user actually has to get to know the UI. This could be done by a man

  • Inductive charging is way cool, but the rest of it sounds like just a larger version of the Nintendo DS! Not real innovative, if you know what I mean. Can't somebody simply make a tablet PC with USB ports, so I can plug in external memory, keyboard, mouse, etc.?
  • This is very cool. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tthomas48 (180798) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:04PM (#31376760) Homepage

    I think this device looks very cool, and it solves the iPad/iPod Touch conundrum. The iPad has a nice screen for reading, but you actually read the ipod touch because it fits in your pocket. If I could have the screen of an iPad and put it in my pocket you've got a killer app there.

    And before your criticize the "put in your pocket" thing, I get that as the killer feature the ipod touch has from two moms who both use their ipods constantly. The ipad is not so convenient for taking a load of laundry out to the laundry room and checking facebook status updates.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:50PM (#31377102)

    Breaking a screen into two smaller ones and sticking a giant hinge/bezel in the middle isn't an advantage.

    Think about watching video on this. You have half the screen and turned sideways.

    Even reading a regular text ebook. Two screens aren't an advantage, they are a hindrance.

    Now it might be good for a few things where you can flick it between the two small screens, BUT you could easily do the same thing on one bigger screen by creating a software split between the halves.

    Now MS may have some good SW ideas, I'll wait until they exist outside of a cartoon to comment on those, but I think they would be better delivered on a one screen device.

    • by aztektum (170569)

      Yeah. I'll hold off until the day we have color folding e-ink display that are as vibrant as the 24" Dell IPS panel monitor I am staring at right now.

    • I know that this is shocking, but not all computers are made for consuming media. If you want to just watch videos on a portable screen, then here you go http://www.apple.com/ [apple.com]. However, if you would like a device that would be great for business and school use (you know, actually doing something productive), then the Courier is fan-freakin-tastic. Imagine being able to get notes from a friend when you're out sick with the tap of a button. Never having to worry about grabbing the wrong notebook and never
    • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:38PM (#31378456) Journal

      Breaking a screen into two smaller ones and sticking a giant hinge/bezel in the middle isn't an advantage.

      Even reading a regular text ebook. Two screens aren't an advantage, they are a hindrance.

      Yes, because that thing called a "printed book" which has that exact same user interface is such a failure...

  • I would say "prototype" usually means some working hard- and software, a real device. Not in mass production or finally nailed down, but something that really exists and can be touched and basically works.

    So, are there pictures of that device? I have seen nothing than renderings and UI mockups yet and people talking of a "prototype" when there is just a "concept" drive me crazy.

    And I also don't get it when people talk about "multi-touch" and seem to mean "you can touch and swipe and gesture everywhere and e

  • by pydev (1683904) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:53PM (#31377132)

    Wow, with the Windows-experience wizard and the designers of Xbox and Zune on board, what could possibly go wrong?

  • This story was posted over an hour ago, and no one has made a joke yet about it being just as fast as a Courier POTS modem from US Robotics.... Man, I'm losing my faith in geek-kind.

    Also, you kids get off my lawn!

  • iPhone-esque? I think people may be seeing things where there really is nothing. Hundreds of applications have had home buttons. Plenty of them long before apple too i'm sure. Fairly stupid to mention iphone/apple here.
  • There certainly is more innovation in the concept than in the iPad -- by a fairly large margin. That doesn't necessarily mean it would be more useful or useable -- but it's enough that iIm very interested to hear more about it. The leaked video from a few months ago was really quite interesting, the only thing we need now is actual details on the operating system, spec, etc. As a concept it's great, but as a reality it might fall short.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:34PM (#31378062)

    If you look, there is no "there" there. As in, nothing physical is being shown at any time. These are not prototypes - they are concepts! They aren't even as real at this stage as the fantasy cars you see at car shows.

    So let's see what comes out and WHEN it comes out. Remember that not even Windows Mobile 7 Edition comes out until the end of the year, and it's a lot less ambitious!

    Some of the ideas are really interesting, but how much will we see in real life and how practical will it be to use.

  • This is a special-purpose device. It's competing with paper notebooks and binders, or at best, with a laptop + pen input for specific applications.

    This isn't for watching movies, playing games, or *really* browsing the web. It's for taking notes, gathering reference materials, and collaborating.

    The question isn't whether it can be a better tablet than the iPad and other coming products, but whether Microsoft can convince people in the design business that this will be quicker/more convenient enough for them than their current way of doing things to justify investing in the device.

    For the typical consumer, this will be too expensive and not convergent enough to be worth buying, the question is whether it is useful and divergent enough for the target market.

  • One thing that Courier nails is the concept of using both fingers and pen. Go ahead, try it. There are two basic pen positions: a "writing" position that uses all five fingers, and a "resting" position where the pen is rotated 90 degrees, and held in place by a single finger, leaving the other fingers free. The writing position is vertical, resting on the edge of the hand. The resting position is horizontal, palm down.

    The Courier UI mockup uses both of these hand configurations and orientations. Flat, horizontal motions such as flipping a page or image dragging are done in the resting position. Vertical motions such as drawing and writing are done in writing position. Switching between the two is very fast and natural-feeling.

    Having a pen dispenses with the need for a QUERTY keyboard, but block-printing is not the solution either. For one thing, it's too slow: the average printing speed is about 15wpm. A better solution might be a stylus-based keyboard. Several years ago, IBM invented a shorthand named Shark [ibm.com] (commercialized as ShapeWriter [shapewriter.com], I believe) that was extremely effective. After just a few minutes of practice with it, I was able to achieve 40wpm.

  • Bullshit (Score:3, Funny)

    by His Shadow (689816) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @12:24AM (#31378976) Homepage Journal
    A real device is a physical entity. CGI movies are not real devices.

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"

Working...