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Microsoft Windows Hardware

The Story Behind the Demise of the Microsoft Courier Tablet 200

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cool-gadgets-make-no-money dept.
UnknowingFool writes "When the Courier project was leaked out, it was a bold look at how MS would design new tablets. Microsoft was currently selling tablets but they didn't make a dent in the market. The problem was it was too bold. According to the story Ballmer had two competing executive visions for tablets: J. Allard and Steven Sinofsky. Allard's vision was very different from MS thinking while Sinofsky's was more in line with existing Windows but was years away. Ballmer called on Gates to help and Gates met with Allard. Gates was apparently troubled on how Courier would not mesh with Windows or Office. The project was cancelled shortly thereafter. An interesting detail was that Courier was more complete than most outsiders knew. While there was no one prototype that unified all the concepts of Courier, there were parallel efforts in the different aspects of it."
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The Story Behind the Demise of the Microsoft Courier Tablet

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  • by Shompol (1690084) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:57AM (#37921298)
    Microsoft fosters a very competitive internal culture. Competition is not always good, as high level execs refuse to cooperate with each other, disregarding any potential benefits for the company. Here is one reference [engadget.com]:

    Dick's claim [is] that Tablet PC was doomed because the Office team refused to make a version of Office designed around stylus input

    And this is the original article from NYT: Microsoft’s Creative Destruction [nytimes.com] :

    When we were building the tablet PC in 2001, the vice president in charge of Office at the time decided he didn’t like the concept. The tablet required a stylus, and he much preferred keyboards to pens and thought our efforts doomed. To guarantee they were, he refused to modify the popular Office applications to work properly with the tablet. So if you wanted to enter a number into a spreadsheet or correct a word in an e-mail message, you had to write it in a special pop-up box, which then transferred the information to Office. Annoying, clumsy and slow.

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