Microsoft Courier | Another tablet computer bites the dust

Microsoft sign

Microsoft's Courier tablet was going to be one of the few hardware devices made by the company. Image from Flickr.

The Microsoft Courier, a dual-screen tablet computer, has officially been canceled by Microsoft. The Courier, first rumored last September, was in development to be a slate or tablet computer with a set of hinged seven-inch screens. While Microsoft doesn’t yet need fast cash loans, one has to wonder if the company is refocusing on its Windows 7 and Windows 7 Phone operating systems. The killing of the Courier is just the latest in the recent shakeup of slate computers, urged on by the success of the Apple iPad.

Microsoft Courier design canceled

The Microsoft Courier was in development to be one of the only Microsoft-native devices available. Microsoft corporation works mostly with software, so the Courier would have been a slight departure for the company. However, this morning Gizmodo reported that employees working on the Microsoft Courier were told that Microsoft will “no longer support the project.” The Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft has said that the Courier project “is an example” of investigating new ideas and “will be evaluated for use in future offerings.”

Microsoft Courier announcement follows HP abandonment

The Microsoft Courier was a device that was rumored to run a custom programmed operating system, based on Windows, built in. Microsoft has also been developing a Windows 7 phone operating system and “light Windows 7” intended for use in slate computers. However, with the HP purchase of Palm that was announced just one day before, it looks like Windows may quickly be losing a foothold in the slate computing market.

Tablet computing options beyond Courier

Microsoft’s Courier and HP’s Streak were not the only rumored new slate computing devices, however. A device called the JooJoo Tablet, created by Fusion Garage and run on a Linux operating system, has also created headlines about its rise and demise. The JooJoo is definitely not dead – but “aggressive product delivery commitments” and “problematic” user interface issues have pushed the JooJoo about as far out as the Microsoft Courier. HTC, Google, Dell and WePad all have announced that they have built or will build Android-based devices. Lawsuits from both Microsoft and Apple are putting roadblocks in the way of these slate computers. Will any of these iPad competitors be released? Microsoft Courier won’t see the light of day, but there may soon be a tablet and slate computing market with plenty of options for consumers.


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