Microsoft Twin-Screen iPad Confirmed by Blog Blunder

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft appears to have accidentally confirmed that it will release a tablet computer called 'Courier'. The device would be marketed as a rival to Apple's upcoming iPad.

Rumors of the Microsoft Courier device go back to last September, when leaked documents showed a design for a twin-screen device with no physical keyboard.

The concept was of a multi-function design that could:

  • Be held in portrait mode like a book with facing pages
  • Landscape mode with the top screen display and bottom screen touch keyboard
  • Or hinged back on itself and used as a tablet or "slate" PC.

At the time, though, it wasn't clear if the device would come to fruition. It was said be classed as 'skunkworks', a name given to tech projects which are largely experimental and aren't necessarily expected to lead to a finished product.

Blog Posting Spills The Beans

A generic posting on the official Microsoft jobs blog appears to have revealed firmer plans. It originally read:

"Do you already know everything about Project Natal and the Cloud? Is Blaise Aguera y Arcas' jaw-dropping TED talk on augmented-reality Bing Maps and Photosynth last month's news? Then check out some of the online chatter surrounding new releases of Window Phone 7 series handsets, Internet Explorer 9 and the upcoming Courier digital journal." (Source:

The words "Courier digital journal " linked to a post about the device on tech site Endgadget. However, the link has since been removed from the post without explanation. (Source:

This raises several possibilities. The unnamed ad writer may have simply been trying to create a post that would appeal to potential employees. Alternatively, Microsoft may have intentionally used the posting to leak a tease of the Courier to produce news coverage such as the article you are currently reading.

Mistake More Likely Than Conspiracy

The most likely possibility, however, is that the device is in the works, but the writer accidentally mentioned it before an official confirmation.

It is interesting to see the use of the word "journal" in the name. That may imply Microsoft aims to market the Courier as a productivity tool, with users creating documents in the same way as most portable computers. That would create an important difference between it and Apple's iPad, which appears to be more of a "content consuming" device used mainly for Internet access and multimedia.

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