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New Images & Extended Videos Leak of Microsoft iPad Rival

Gordon Kelly


Various scraps surrounding the Microsoft 'Courier' project have been floating around the Interweb since September, but now we've got more and it looks like the iPad should be worrying...

Engadget has managed to scoop some exclusive photos and an extended video of the Courier and also some new info. Key points are that the so-called 'booklet' form factor is being described internally as a 'digital journal' and will be ultra portable, weighing under 1lb (450g) and will be little bigger than a 5 x 7in photo when closed.

Interestingly, the internals should also pack some grunt being based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset while a multi-touch display will support handwriting recognition and the whole shebang runs on an OS derived from the same code behind Windows Phone 7 Series and the Zune HD. On top of this will be an integrated camera, headphone jack and the dual screen design will also mean it will serve as Microsoft's own entry into the eBook reader market.

A Q3/Q4 timeframe has been put on the Courier (though no pricing) and if it all sounds a little too good to be true then, I must admit, I share some of your cynicism. Then again, if you'd said Microsoft could jump from Windows Mobile 6.5 to Windows Phone 7 Series I'd have also laughed you out of the room. So here's hoping...


via Engadget


March 8, 2010, 9:53 pm

I like the folding form factor. I'd be much happier wielding this on a train than an iPad, which I wouldn't really want to be seen using in public.

Let's hope they give adequate polish to the UI, and the device comes to fruition!


March 8, 2010, 11:51 pm

It's a much nicer weight as well, the iPad's 750g is rather on the porky side.

Screen quality is going to be a big issue though, hopefully it won't be a backlit one.


March 9, 2010, 12:59 am

Although this smacks of CGI'd vapour-ware to me, i'm keeping my fingers crossed that it actually does exists outside of the imagination. If so, then I can see that flash supporting, all-features-that-were-missing-now-included iPad2 release date, being brought forward by a mile!

Ben Senior

March 9, 2010, 2:20 am

This makes so much more sense than an iPad.. if it can do all this I want one now!


March 9, 2010, 3:38 am

I really love the Microsoft courier, have since it was first announce and i have been anxiously waiting for a release date and price!

The folding form factor does just make so much more sense that the ipad, and I can see its appeal as not just an ebook reader but as a journal/workbook and maybe even a notebook (if they have one screen as a keyboard)


March 9, 2010, 5:14 am

Saw the concept demo and I was blown away by it. Brilliant is an understatement. I can see this being a ubiquitous tool in any situation or any industry (unlike the iPad).

It encompasses everything, beautiful & intuitive interface, clear understanding of the target markets needs, providing the required functionality and a desirable form factor.

Though I have no need for one, its one of those gadgets that you'll try coming up with an excuse of just to use it!!


March 9, 2010, 8:14 am

Nice idea but I would like to see a larger hardback book sized one, say 9" by 7" and the screens designed to be able to function as one large widescreen without spacing in the middle for general web surfing. Forgive me for being picky over something that is obviously such a good idea already but it has the potential to be the greatest gadget invention of this new decade I think. It has so many implications. Why the heck didnt more industry players not think of this rather than a flat slate like pad.


March 9, 2010, 1:54 pm

Well this totally blows the ipad out of the water! I quite like the ipad, but thought the 10" form factor was a bit big and heavy. I love the size and folding design. Marketing it as a journal is brilliant and makes you think you might want to take this out of the house with you along with your laptop and smartphone! Sounds like the 3rd device apple were trying to tell us the ipad was. I bet steve jobs is kicking himself thinking damn why didn't i think of that. I still quite like the ipad aswell though as a great way of browsing the web on the sofa.

Ala Miah

March 9, 2010, 3:23 pm

Now this is a product I can get behind - Looks intuative, intimate and damn right more practical then the iPad. Yes Mr. Jobs - this is everything you wanted iPad to be - MS have done it.


March 9, 2010, 4:02 pm

Runs Microsoft software - great!! How do you do a Ctrl+Alt+Del with so few buttons?


March 9, 2010, 5:32 pm

I personally see a lot more potential with this than the iPad but a quick search online sees many "skeptical" blogs and articles over how genuine these pictures really are and if so, the likelihood of it appearing by the end of the year.

Ive always been tempted by ebooks but never really liked the hardware - but this would fit the bill perfectly. I also really like the size of it - if they can nail the handwriting type thing for super accuracy then I could certainly see the missus having a field day shopping with this sort of thing.

If I had the option of a gaming laptop or a next gen console and a gadget like this (assuming excellent internet use and some sort of integration with Office) then it really is a no brainer for me. Regardelss of the authenticity of the reports it's at least encouraging to see what manufacturers are considering for the future. Maybe Minority Report tech isnt so far away after all!!!


March 9, 2010, 5:52 pm

I sincerely hope this is not a massive cloud of vapour, because these videos have got me really excited. It looks like the ultimate research tool...


March 9, 2010, 8:33 pm

@Gav66: The same way you do option+command+escape on an iPad presumably.

Ian Mayall

March 9, 2010, 11:05 pm

@Gav66: Ah, that old chestnut.

Working on Windows Server 2003 and XP in a work environment and Windows 7 x64 at home I cannot remember the last time I had to use this other than to sign on.....


March 10, 2010, 11:53 pm

Love it. I prefer it over the iPad. Though even a single screen one would do. Looks like MS is finally woken up!


March 11, 2010, 2:28 am

One problem I foresee with this is that if you look at the comparison between IE and Chrome/FF/Opera this could really slow the speed of the device down, seeing as it is wholly based around the web browser.

MS would need to create a browser from scratch for this to work efficiently.

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