Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Microsoft's New Courier Tablet

Microsoft CourierWhatever concept you had of what was cool in the tech world just got pushed to another level thanks to a new tablet from Microsoft codenamed Courier. This new double-screen tablet works as a day planner only way cooler.

Speculations about whether or not you will be able to run down to your local tech store and pick this thing up is still unsure considering this is only one of many different tablet prototypes currently in development from Microsoft. However, with the Apple tablet rumors being thrown around and the similarity Courier has to the upcoming E-reader/netbook from Asus, the tablet concept seems to be gaining more and more interest from consumers.

Courier appears like it could completely revolutionize personal business devices. There aren't a lot of details about what Courier can do. What is known is that, unlike Apple's tablet, it comes in a book shape with two 7inch screens with a built in camera and Wi-Fi. Information input is varied going between multi-touch gestures like pinching and flicking to using a stylus for handwriting and drawing.

It is unsure how Courier will handle things like e-mail or if it comes equipped with a microphone or webcam for things like video conferences or VoIP. But Courier does look like an outstanding replacement to the traditional pen and paper way of planning. Courier appears to fuse the best of paper planning with the two pages and large writing space with the best of a computer's planning capabilities to manipulate and index data.

What may come as a surprise to some is that the Courier tablet is almost a complete opposite to what people expect from Apple's tablet. People expect the Apple tablet to be an expanded iPod Touch having a 9 to 10 inch multi-touch display, iSight camera, microphone, Wi-Fi and 3G capability and run with either another version of Mac OS X or the iPod OS.

People and analysts have been talking about the Apple tablet for over a year now and yet there is still no information leak that even compares to the size of the Courier leak telling us what the device is going to be able to do. All info in this post have come from different rumors floating around and not hard evidence. This could mean that Apple's product doesn't even exist. However, if it doesn't it, one will exist shortly now that Microsoft has thrown their hat in the ring and given some decent details about Courier.

One question many people will be asking Apple is "Why is this device even necessary? Why is it a better option than a laptop/smartphone combo?" Apple's tablet doesn't appear like it can replace either device and doesn't appear to be the same as a netbook either. So by now you may be asking yourself "What the heck is this Apple Tablet thing?" Well the answer is that it is an entertainment device used to watch video, surf the web and play games.

Courier, alternately, can be recognized almost instantly as a device that would be useful to someone. It takes your average, everyday two page paper planner and digitizes it for the first time ever. Courier takes advantage of data mash-ups by allowing you to flick your contacts on a map and find their location. You can also take notes easily with the reasonable screen size and you also have web access right at your fingertips. It also appears that Courier will have nothing to do with the Windows Mobile or Windows 7 Operating Systems. Instead it will have a completely new operating system designed specifically for the Courier.

But these details do not mean that the tablet market is going to be completely dominated by Courier or that Apple's tablet can not catch up. It simply means that the two devices are completely different. If you are looking into Courier then you are more likely looking for a smartly designed day planner which will more than likely be able to do things like play videos and other entertainment apps similar to a smartphone. If you want something more geared towards having fun then you are going to want to look more into Apple's tablet. Apple's tablet looks to have more entertainment value and a weaker enterprise value. These factors, business and fun, are going to be the deciding factors in which one you decide to buy when, and if, either one of these tablets comes out.

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