MS dual-screen tablet to arrive next year?
Mole reveals Courier launch details
The past week has been filled with speculation about Microsoft’s dual-screen e-book reader-cum-tablet PC, and it has since emerged that the device could available sooner than you may have thought.
When images of Courier first appeared, moles described it as a “late prototype”. This led many pundits to believe that it could be some time before Microsoft officially launches Courier.
Microsoft's rumoured Courier: coming next year?
But that isn’t the case, at least according to one of ZD Net’s “connected tipsters”, who has claimed that Courier is further along the development line than a pure research project.
The net result, according to the tipster, is that Courier will be launched next year.
We’ve no reason to believe or question the claim. However, the tipster also unearthed a couple of previously unknown Courier features which could help you make up your mind about the rumoured gadget’s supposed arrival date.
Firstly, Courier will be based on Windows 7. No great surprise there since Microsoft’s surface interactive table is based on a custom version of Vista.
Secondly, Courier will support cloud-based storage. This tallies with a previous report from Gizmodo, which claimed Courier data “can actually be published online”.
Microsoft has yet to say anything official about Courier. ®
Have you ever actually used a surface display or a zune?
Yeah, I didn't think so. If you're going to get up to the usual Reg commenter foaming-at-the-mouth anti-MS rants, at least rant about something you have first-hand experience with.
I've used a couple of different Zunes, and - ok - the marketing was truly awful, but the hardware is quite nice. And while a surface display isn't going to replace a kb/mouse as a general UI, it's a fantastic piece of tech that can be really useful in certain situations. Saying it's a "pants" idea because it's impractical for making powerpoint documents or using a unix shell is kind of shortsighted...
Where's the battery?
If this thing in running Windows 7 it needs a dirty great battery, fans and all the rest that goes with massive CPU and storage usage. Those are not shown here. What is shown here would only get an hour of battery life which would make it relatively pointless.
Time to grow up alistair and stop acting like a dick - the anti-M$ crowd is getting a little dated.
"Unless MS goes into the giant bookstore business what are you going to do with this?"
Well, as it's coming with Windows 7, anything you want to apart from play graphics heavy games? If it is running Windows you can run Windows software on it, with Win7 handing the touch screen bits, although if there is a built in mic you can also use voice recognition, though touch screen should be better.
You'll be able to have an excel spreadsheet docked to the top half of the left screen, an access database docked to the bottom half of the left screen, word docked to the top half of the right screen and a browser of your choice docked to the bottom half of the right hand screen, all on a decent sized book-pad-thingy.
I think the things this device could do may actually be unlimited, or at least limited by the users imagination, or naturally by the limits of the hardware. It won't need a super powered CPU or GPU to keep the machine cooler, but that's not an issue (Win 7 runs fantastic on older CPUs), just ensure its got a decent amount of RAM.
The machine has a lot more potential than any Apple could make, any from Jobs would be running a crippled locked down version of OSX and probably be tied into iTunes limiting the software to only stuff that Job's thinks you should run, an MS one running Windows 7, well, what can't Windows do?
I actually want one of these things, but can't see it arriving before VS2010 which *should* include all the features required to develop app's properly for the touch screen device.
I have read lots of post by people wanting one of these devices, but most of the reasons they say they want it are for applications and services that don't actually exist. Things that you /could/ do with it. As far as I can tell, it's best use right now would be as an expensive, low-battery-life eBook / document reader. The gap between the screens means you can't really use them as one big display, so it's no real use as a video player, or at least no better than a single display netbook. It's not particularly suited to normal web browsing, multimedia, or productivity apps as far as I can see either. I am a big fan of multiple displays (I have 3 on my desk), but not when they're that fecking small.
So if Microsoft are going to launch this soon for real, they better have some killer apps and services lined up that they haven't gotten around to mentioning yet, or it will make the Zune look like a roaring success.