back to article Dual-screen Microsoft 'booklet' uncovered

Microsoft is developing a dual-screen tablet, sorry, booklet that could seriously shake the foundations of Apple’s rumoured tablet PC and Asus' dual-screen laptop. Microsoft_Courier_04 Microsoft Courier's dual screens both look about 7in and are touch and stylus-sensitive Credit: Gizmodo Called Courier, the device is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    First time I've said that about a Microshite product.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder

    Who they bought to get this. Most innovations they make are ripoffs or something they bought. Still looks nice. No clue what I would use it for though.

  3. nobby

    so, a large nintendo DS then?

    if it has pokemon on day 1 i'm sure it'll sell.

  4. Simon Davidson
    Thumb Up

    Thank You Microsoft

    I was geniunely excited about the Apple Tablet, strange for me as I've never really bought into all the commercial hype around the iPhone and iPod. This looks very sleek, hopefully its not burdened by an awfully bloated OS.

  5. shaunm
    Thumb Up

    good concept....

    This could be a hell of a device and so could apples tablet before there’s a fanboi war.

    Apple tablet = Multimedia Platform

    Microsoft 'booklet' = Business Device

    They will both have there place and very different functions

  6. stu 4
    Thumb Up

    @AC 10:29

    Now come on... you must be forgetting the paperclip.. or the little search dog.. I mean isn't it lovely everytime it wastes valuable minutes of your life pissing about on the screen when you just want it to search for a file...

  7. thomas k.

    makes a little more sense now

    Well, everyone was saying that, since MS didn't make their own branded PCs, there wasn't much point in opening their own chain of stores just to sell XBoxes/games, keyborads/mice, Zunes and shrink-wrapped software ...

  8. SlabMan

    Late prototype stage?

    The pics look like renders and the video is an animated concept demo. 'Late prototype' implies physical prototypes have been built, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence for this. In the same way as Microsoft released details of the electronic bathtub (sorry - I mean Surface) as an attempted iPod spoiler, this would appear to be some pre-emptive anti-iTablet FUD.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It may be cute...

    It may be cute but since it's going to run windows (and it seems unlikely that Linux will work on it for a while).

    As a result, I won't be buying one!

    You can't break out of the fud with ctrl-shift-esc if you don't have a keyboard...

  10. Code Monkey


    Their software's bobbins but credit where it's due here. I've no idea what I'd do with it, but WANT!

  11. Raumkraut

    Copying OLPC again?

    Is this just the companies seeing what the OLPC people had in mind for their next iteration and, remembering that the first OLPC spawned the whole netbook craze, attempting to get in first?

    But I fully expect the Microsoft hardware to cost 10x whatever machine comes out of OLPC. And that's not including the Windows 7 license.

  12. Parax


    A new push for the Surface OS??

  13. Anonymous Coward


    cant you just stay out of the Windows / Linux thing for once, the product isnt even officially announced and already it being classed as shite because its from MS. Very very sad.

  14. SlabMan


    @anonymous coward - It's not a product. It's a concept. As in car companies demoing sleek model-bedecked 100MPH 100MPG streamlined space cruisers at motor-shows, only to eventually come to market with a diesel-powered ride-on lawnmower. This is not real. It is vapourware, FUD, imagineering, wishful thinking. An idea. A fishing exercise. It does not exist.

    Anyone wanna buy a video of the Brooklyn Bridge?

  15. Chris Haynes

    I look forward to...

    The Blue Left Page Of Death.

  16. Chimpofdoom!
    Thumb Up

    All I can say is...

    I can haz?!?!??!

  17. Rich Large

    Not bad

    Looks like a very neat concept. Might be slightly worried about the weight if it's got a floppy spine, but as long as it came with good software and a decent price tag (£3-400 maybe?), this looks like a mighty useful device. Keeping an eye on this one.

  18. Jerome 0

    Great idea

    This looks nice, but possibly a little heavy and unwieldy. If only there were some clever way to produce a device with almost identical functionality, whilst cutting its weight and bulk by half...

  19. Anonymous Coward

    fanboys 2

    I agree with AC, its always ends up for fanboys slating each others brands. Thankfully the vast majority of consumers live on planet earth and don't get involved fanboy antics. I doubt most consumers will give a flying *&%$ what OS this or any other device runs.

    And since when is designing similar products a crime (excuding patent infringement) Of course apple have such a long history in tablet computing they must have invented it?

    Competition is good for us, the consumer, without there would be no need for innovation. So, roll on MS, Apple, Asus etc. I want you all to try and out do each other with features quality and pricing.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear Lord!

    Has anyone ever managed to get a tablet accepted in the market place? Now MS want to try to get one going, 'cos Apple are! Pathetic aren't they?

    So we have....New O/S released same time, retail stores near Apple's, poaching staff and now a tablet! I think we all know what's next, MS branded and locked down PC, just running Windows and nothing else, running off a sealed solid-state drive!

    Apple or ASUS ( the notebook poster boy ) might be the only ones able to pull off a tablet these days.

  21. Andy Gates

    Penguin-chops is right though

    About the form factor, that is. Made me want an OLPC 2 and oh boy, makes me want this :)

  22. Adam 10

    Oh but didn't Apple already invent this?

    Nothing from the Apple fanbois yet? No? OK, I'll start you off...

    They stole this idea from Apple! They must have done! No-one else in the whole history of mankind has ever invented anything! The Apple Lisa had a button on it, that kinda looked like erm... no, that's not it. Oh, and it's got a touchscreen, and nothing had touchscreens before iPhone... no, that doesn't quite work. Erm... Ah! It runs Windows, and so does an Apple Mac!

    So they STOLE it from Apple, they STOLE it.

  23. Lan ser


    MS hardware is usually very well built and reliable (x-box excepted) so If it will run Linux I'd love to have one but what happened to the Crunchpad that looked great too but has vanished without trace

  24. whiteafrican

    @ SlabMan

    "this would appear to be some pre-emptive anti-iTablet FUD."... "This is not real. It is vapourware, FUD, imagineering, wishful thinking. An idea. A fishing exercise. It does not exist."

    I'm not normally one to flame, but "FUD" stands for "fear, uncertainty and doubt". Are you seriously saying that this story inspired fear in you?!

    Secondly, why are you so certain it doesn't exist? If you read the comments, it is overwhelmingly clear that there's a market for this product. People like the idea. We have pictures and details of this, and there are no pictures or details of Apple's theoretical iTablet (which you appear to believe does exist...). And yet you still think that Microsoft is pouring time and resources into this just for the sake of upsetting Apple fanbois?

    Actually, that's not a bad idea. If I was Balmer, I would also spend a few quid on a video just to wind up fanbois who have nothing better to do with their time than whine about Microsoft.

    @ Chris Haynes - haha :)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @ Oh dear Lord, AC

    Let me guess, you're not a Microsoft fan are you?

    I think its a nice concept, maybe MS will do a good job, maybe they won't. Maybe another manufacture will copy the concept and have a go. its all good I reckon.

  26. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns

    I doubt it

    Nice 3D renders, but I doubt this exists in any form other than that - pictures. Just looks like more Microsoft spoiler tactics to me, "leaking" a product that will never be made.

    And even if it did exist, wouldn't you need three hands to operate it?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good stuff

    As a business user I would definitely be interested. But the biggest hurdle will be to convince my boss that I really need it. I tried to convince my actual company and the previous one to get a laptop/tablet pc but to no avail. The biggest use is for me if I could create mindmaps significantly faster than on my laptop at the moment. The problem it might have with that is that it might be hard to input the text as fast on a laptop - how well would text recognition work if I write with my doctor's writing? If they find a smooth way to integrate that into existing applications I would be very interested in that. And one more thing: it shouldn't get warmer than warm during use.

  28. Robert E A Harvey
    Paris Hilton

    Brain damaged

    My Brain is torn

    Half of me wants this very badly

    Half says "no, you will be supporting the evil one".

    Tell me what to do, registerites, before I split in half!

    Paris, 'cos this is all about wanting something fashionable.

  29. jai


    am happy to admit that i'm an apple fanatic and wear my blue jeans and black turtleneck under my work suit, but i like the look of that

    somehow, i suspect it won't look anything like that if it's finally released and it prove frustratingly annoying to use

    still - can someone will find a way to hack OS X on to it and then it'll be worth getting

  30. Mike Richards

    Reference design?

    Could this just be a reference design for hardware manufacturers to use but one that Microsoft itself won't ever manufacture?

    Still, it looks impressive, though I wonder how much stamina it will have with so little room for a battery.

  31. PCW
    Thumb Down

    Fer chrissakes ...

    Why is it that every time I see a new product in a small, portable-type of format (netbook, "smart" phone, this) there always seems to be a caption referencing some outrageous resolution? This looks like an awesome concept, but really - 1080p video on a seven-bloody-inch screen? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!? Setting aside the question of why I would want to try to watch much at all in this form-factor (depending upon how the device is configured, you might end up with the other half always flopping down over the screen, or have to hold it rigidly, to avoid stressing the hinge), why do I need that much resolution in such a tiny size? 1080p is 1920X1080 pixels and on a seven inch screen, which does not look to be 16:9 format but rather something like 4:3, that would be about 5.6" wide by 4.2" tall. That gives a DPI of 343! -> suggests that such a number is not impossible, but do we really need to be able to watch HD anything on a titchy little screen? STOP THE MADNESS!

  32. whiteafrican

    @ AC, 11:51

    "Has anyone ever managed to get a tablet accepted in the market place? Now MS want to try to get one going, 'cos Apple are! Pathetic aren't they?"

    Umm... right, so the dozens of OEM tablets (running MS OSs) that have been on the market since 2001 don't count? And the Apple vapourware one does?

  33. lennie

    msft has prototypes......

    to all those calling out FUD please remember MSFT's Codex project, it's basically the same dual screen with many of the functions that are shown in the rendered video however, not so good looking (again it's a prototype). go check it out over there.

    that video was done a long time ago so it shows that msft has been working on this for a long time and that it's not a "response" to what appl is about to do. msft's UI concept looks really welll thought out in the render. most likely it will be based on Windows Mobile CE 6 or 7 with silverlight integrated.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    You kept mention in the article how it does things "like the iPhone", the iPhone isn't unique though, my old Palm could use gestures and what-not, MS's own touch screen interface has had that ability for a long time too, it really isn't something that the iPhone invented by any stretch of the imagination, heck if Black and White were touch screen capable you'd be using gestures on that. And no, not just gestures, being able to zoom in/out using motions on the screen, MS were doing that before the iPhone was even a concept.

    As for the device, it'll probably run a watered down version of Windows 7 which comes with touch screen capabilities, and it seems very interesting, being able to work on content on the right hand screen with your notes on the left, dragging items from the left side into the work on the right hand side, or better still, being able to watch "A night in Paris" on the left hand side whilst using your spare hand to err.... something.

  35. OffBeatMammal

    an early glimpse

    a couple of bits of the UI (both in Courier and the linked Codex as well) seemed familiar, then I remembered Inkseine - something MSR had released a while back (I tried it on the HP Tablet I had for a while and thought it was pretty cool)

  36. The Other Steve

    @AC 11:51 - Idiot

    "Now MS want to try to get one going, 'cos Apple are! Pathetic aren't they?"

    What I love most about retarded fanbois is their utter ignorance. MS has been shipping "Windows for pen computing" since Windows 3.11. E.g. before Apple got out of the beige toaster market.

    Of course, the other thing that you've managed to overlook is that yes, actually, lots of people have successfully taken tablet form factors to market, including Apple (Newton, duh!), Palm, HP, Lenovo (né IBM) and many others.

    See, now you've made yourself look like a cock in front of people who actually know stuff. Classic fanboi knee jerk fail.

    Guess that's why you post AC.

  37. Don Mitchell


    Interesting looking product. I think Microsoft made a mistake in cancelling their e-Book project in the 1990s. A lot of innovative ideas (like ClearType and readability studies) came out of that project, but somehow they don't market something new until they feel compelled or someone else productizes it.

  38. Paul Shirley

    Nintendo has them worried...

    ...why else build a grownup DS ;)

  39. Reg Sim
    Thumb Up

    ok, I like.

    Needless to say it may not be right first time around, but I want one.

  40. Charles Manning

    nth time lucky?

    Tablets have always been Billy-boy's pet format. MS have tried doing tablets at least three times in the past and all have failed dismally.

    Why should this one be any different?

  41. whiteafrican

    @Charles Manning

    "MS have tried doing tablets at least three times in the past and all have failed dismally."

    ...except they haven't. Microsoft don't manufacture tablet PCs. All they did was extend XP (and now Win7) so it could be used with a touchscreen and let the OEMs make tablets - not exactly a lot of outlay by Microsoft. The tablet format is unlikely to replace traditional desktop/laptop setups, but it still sells and Microsoft still make money from it.

    Similarly, WinCE/WinMob have been used on small tablets. Again, Microsoft made money from these.

    I suppose you could argue that the OEMs have "failed dismally" at making tablets, but then again, they have been making them for the best part of a decade now, and show no signs of stopping, so I guess they must be making money too...

    All of which leaves me wondering why you think MS have "failed dismally" at "doing tablets" in the past... unless you know nothing about tablets, which would explain it.

  42. Mussie (Ed)

    I hope

    I hope on screen can be used as a faux keybord, would make it so much more useful

  43. stuartnz

    A decent e-book reader perhaps?

    I don't normally comment on these articles because of the fanboy wars, but this product looks promising. The Apple tablet also sounds promising but it seems that MS may be ahead of Apple in moving out of vaporware stage. Here in Zild neither Kindle nor Sony's e-readers are much use so something like this might be nice as an ebook reader, especially for non-tagged PDFs.

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