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Microsoft's Touted iPad Rival Courier Becomes Less Than Vapor 401

Kostya writes "The much discussed Courier two-panel tablet device from Microsoft is now even less than vaporware — now it's just plain dead. 'Microsoft execs informed the internal team that had been working on the tablet device that the project would no longer be supported.' While the Courier had never been officially announced as a supported product by Microsoft, it had generated a lot of discussion as what the iPad should have been."
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Microsoft's Touted iPad Rival Courier Becomes Less Than Vapor

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  • Announce? (Score:5, Informative)

    by linumax ( 910946 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:05PM (#32038928)
    AFAIK, Microsoft never really announced anything. They even went as far as calling it a rumor and at best some "sources" called it an incubation project [].

    Announced product examples are Windows Phone 7 and Natal.
  • Re:Tablets are dead (Score:4, Informative)

    by capnkr ( 1153623 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:26PM (#32039084)
    I generally just read a dead-tree book when I'm on the can.

    Laptops get too hot on the thigh skin, when your pants are down around your ankles...

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:28PM (#32039094)

    Yeah, Pogo Stylus. Just wish Apple would've thought about it before a 3rd Party did. Still don't have an iPad yet, but once I get one, I'm getting me a pogo.

  • by dakameleon ( 1126377 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:50PM (#32039290)

    (Multi-)Touch, on the other hand, is very limited in terms of use in anything creative.

    Buh? Heard of Brushes []? Used for, y'know, a New Yorker cover [] or two?

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:51PM (#32039298)

    Yeah, Pogo Stylus

    I ordered several different styluses to test them all out, and the Pogo was much nicer than the others - a few others have rubbery tips that have too much resistance moving across the screen to move easily. The Pogo has a kind of sponge-like material that coasts across a screen much more easily.

    I wanted to confirm that was a good choice.

  • by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:01PM (#32039384)
    You can use a stylus with them - Apple uses the Pogo Sketch stylus in the Apple Stores... [] []
  • Re:Crap. (Score:3, Informative)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:26PM (#32039568)

    You can make your own or pay someone to do it.

    Look online, some even running OSes for grown ups.

  • Re:On the other hand (Score:3, Informative)

    by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:56PM (#32039786)
    For all that is holy, I wish people would drop Comic Sans. It's like everyone got the same idea at once -- ten years ago -- and it's Groundhog Day every time I see it. It's overused and was one of the first things I changed when I jailbroke my Touch. People using Brush Script, using Cooper Black for body text, or Copperplate for anything other than titling should probably be shot.

    Oh, while you're at it, make sure you get those using Latin Wide and Marker Felt for any purpose -- because there's just no excuse. They might reproduce.
  • Re:Tablets are dead (Score:5, Informative)

    by DdJ ( 10790 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:09PM (#32039902) Homepage Journal

    Actually there are two senses in which it can view 720p video. I'm sure the person you're responding to meant the first.

    First, the H.264 playback engine caps out at 720p. Now, almost all playback engines cap out at some level. If you load 720p video files on a first generation iPod Touch, they won't play at all -- it's more than the device can handle. So don't say "of course it can play back a 720p file, every device can play back a 1080p file and just downscale it, that's no big deal". Because that isn't true.

    (And yes, there's an advantage to this, if the video doesn't have much going on on the side edges. You can "zoom in" to the video, making it go full screen with the edges clipped, and with a 720p data file you'll get more detail doing this. This could be the case for example if you've got a HD render of "The Philadelphia Story" with Grant/Hepburn, as it was actually filmed in 4:3, not 16:9.)

    But, second, the iPad has video-out capabilities. I picked up the "dock port to VGA" adapter for mine. When I hook it up to the HDTV in my living room, and run a little program I wrote that queries the OS for a list of attached screens and their display characteristics, know what? I have full access to full 720p resolution out that display port. So an iPad tucked behind an HDTV that it's connected to can indeed drive a full genuine 720p display.

    (But I'm sure that's not what the person you were responding to meant.)

  • Re:Tablets are dead (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:10PM (#32039908)

    For $500 I can get an iPad which will only run a very limited set of applications, eventually will have s[e]mi-multitasking, won't ever get you the full web, costs an arm and a leg to use common peripherals, etc.

    I'm going to call FUD. Name a platform that does not have a "a limited set of applications." You can't. That's an inherent limitation of any platform. Now you can argue that a platform doesn't run the applications you care about, but 185,000 [] isn't "limited" by any stretch of the imagination.

    Won't get you "the full web?" Perhaps I wouldn't be so peeved at you if this wasn't a direct quote from Adobe's talking points. I can only assume you're talking about the lack of Flash. Let's look at that shall we? Flash only just now supported mobile platforms, and the performance in both speed and battery life is debatable. Furthermore, why would you want to support a proprietary hack, when open standards already exist and are supported on both the desktop and mobile platforms. The big Flash sites, already support HTML5 and so the lack of Flash is not a problem. Face it dude. Flash is dead.

    Multitasking? Well it's in iPhone OS 10.4, and it would be shocking if on the next iPad update it didn't appear there as well. But let's look at the multitasking shall we? There's always been multitasking iPhone OS, it just wasn't always available to third party developers. And seriously, what is it you want your background app to do? Send you an update? Well that's polling. What you deride as "semi-multitasking" is doing exactly what you'd probably call "real multitasking" does. An app wakes up. It checks a status flag, and then goes back to sleep. I guess you'd prefer it if your background apps busy waited.

    What peripherals are you talking about? It handles bluetooth keyboards right out of the box. Mice are irrelevant, as mice aren't an appropriate input device for a multitouch system

    I use my netbook or laptop while sitting on the sofa all the time,

    So what? I'm typing this on a laptop on my couch too. But seriously, a netbook has always sucked. They're small and underpowered. There is nothing that a netbook does well.

    if I want to really "consume media" I fire up my HTPC and put on a movie. If I want to play a game I fire up my 360 or modified Wii.

    Well that's not exactly the targeted use case now is it? The same reason why you wouldn't use an iPad to watch a movie when you have an HTPC available, is the same reason why you don't use your netbook to watch a movie in your living room. (That is, assuming you could watch a movie on a netbook, but you can't. I've yet to see anything that a netbook does adequately, let alone well.) This is blatent strawman comparison.

  • Re:Tablets are dead (Score:1, Informative)

    by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:44PM (#32040088)
    The problem is that in a space like the web, appliances fail to keep up with the times. Yes, full fledged computers are more difficult to use for the average email/facebook junkie, but there's no realistic alternative.

    Appliances work well where the tech needed for accessing the content is guaranteed to not evolve for extremely long periods of time, eg television, or toasters.

    If however you use an appliance to access web services, you're stuck with a fixed time software snapshot, and as soon as the website you're accessing starts using some new tech that your appliance doesn't know, then you're screwed at worst, or you have service degradation at best.

    The logistics of updating web appliances don't make sense. To keep an appliance relevant, the manufacturer ideally needs a team to track every popular website and feed every customer an update whenever one of those sites evolves. That just doesn't scale, so you get bitrot in the appliance.

    The scalable solution is to have general purpose computing devices, so that the customer can decide how best to cope with a change whenever a website he needs makes a technical evolutionary change.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:22PM (#32040302) Journal

    They certainly lost a lot of their power of intimidation when Longhorn cratered. I'd say the Zune debacle was another big blow, because it showed all the companies that jumped on the "Plays for sure" bandwagon that Microsoft would happily toss them under the bus to take another shot at unseating the iPod. Then you've also got their repeated failures to make a decent mobile OS. Seems to me that if I were in the consumer electronics business, I'd be very wary of anything that Microsoft was asking me to participate in.


  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:22PM (#32040306) Journal

    Yeah but you really ought to give MSFT credit, they have gotten bullshitting down to a fricking art form. For those not old enough to remember or who weren't into PCs at the time read The Yellow Road To Cairo [] to see how MSFT under old Darth Gates managed to pretty much grind innovation to a halt for FIVE years, while killing or nearly killing several competitors, all while selling not a damned thing at all besides screenshots and bullshit.

    Say what you want about old Billy boy, it takes some 50 pound brass balls to bullshit an entire industry for half a decade with nothing but a bluff. To keep a lie going THAT long, and get everyone to believe it? Man I'd hate to play old Bill in poker. Hell I'll admit he bluffed the shit out of me too, I didn't get OS/2 until it was practically on life support because I was waiting for the Cairo coolness. say what you want about old Bill, he is one cold calculating son of a bitch.

    It is a shame it turned out to be bullshit, but I figured it was, old Ballmer monkey just ain't got the bullshitting skills that Bill had. To pull off good vaporware you got to make the audience believe in the vapors not just throw out a press release or an occasional leak. Ballmer needs to go spend some time at the feet of his master before trying to pull that off again, he just ain't got the skills.

  • by voidptr ( 609 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:34PM (#32040382) Homepage Journal

    Most of the weight in an iPad is the massive batteries to power the larger screen and the glass plate over the screen, which is thicker than an iPhone since it has a larger span. The whole thing weighs a pound and a half, and that's after leaving off all the I/O ports and subsequent case thickness everyone on here wants from a "real tablet" competitor like 3 USB ports, HDMI out, a removable battery, and a floppy drive.

    The JooJoo doesn't get anywhere near the same battery life, and it weighs 60% more at two and a half pounds.

    What makes you think MS or anyone else could actually ship a dual screen Courier that wouldn't end up weighing somewhere near three pounds by the time it made it out of manufacturing anyway.

  • by KshGoddess ( 454304 ) <> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:44PM (#32040438) Homepage Journal
    or because they've got a 54% estimated failure rate []?
  • Re:Tablets are dead (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, 2010 @12:27AM (#32040668)

    Once upon a time, pet rocks sold hugely.

    More sales does not equate to a more useful product.

    More useful than what? It's more useful than a Microsoft Courier or a Palm Folio.

    which? An ipad or pet rock? A pet rock makes a good paperweight or doorstop. An ipad is too thin to be a doorstop.

  • Re:On the other hand (Score:2, Informative)

    by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @01:15AM (#32040868) Journal

    People using Brush Script, using Cooper Black for body text, or Copperplate for anything other than titling should probably be shot.

    I agree and am willing to join your endeavor. I have guns.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."