Microsoft Cancels its iPad Rival, Courier

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's proposed rival to the very popular Apple iPad appears stillborn. According to reports, the Redmond-based firm's much-hyped dual screen Courier tablet computer has been cancelled.

The report is courtesy of tech blogging site Gizmodo, which says that Courier failed to make it out of Microsoft's research phase. It was Gizmodo that first revealed the Courier several months ago, showcasing pictures of a device boasting two screens that folded into one another like one of those old-fashioned books we hear about from time to time.

The Courier prototype was reported to include a touch screen display along with a stylus note maker, similar in style to the one used in conjunction with Nintendo's DS handheld gaming system.

Tech Bloggers Build Microsoft Courier Hype

For its part, Microsoft never formally announced the device, with much of the hype surrounding Courier building on the forum walls of tech blogs like Gizmodo.

It's a surprising move given the iPad's resounding success in its first full month in availability. Reports suggest Apple has sold over a half million of the slick little devices, despite reports that the WiFi component's design is less than perfect. Microsoft could have used these kinds of early struggles to sell its own nascent tablet.

MS: Courier Could Live On In Similar Devices

As mentioned, Microsoft has been pretty quiet about the project. However, in a recent statement company vice president of communications Frank Shaw did note that Courier will contribute to similar future projects.

"It's in Microsoft's DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity," Shaw said. "The Courier project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings." (Source:

So, the attention now turns to the remaining iPad competitors: Hewlett-Packard is reportedly developing its own tablet (called the HP Slate): one that will boast Windows 7, while Google pursues an Android-based device. Here's hoping they get further than the Courier. (Source:

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