Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Apr 2010 20:55 UTC
Microsoft Now this sucks. We've encountered several 'leaks'over the past few months regarding a 'secret' project within Microsoft called Courier. The demonstrations showed a highly innovative dual-touchscreen tablet thingamabob that combined multitouch and pen input to create a completely new user interface. Today, Microsoft confirmed the project's existence (yay!)... By cancelling it (boo!).
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not a surprise
by kristoph on Thu 29th Apr 2010 21:07 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

It's not hard to create a compelling demonstration for an 'innovative' product through a use case or two.

It's another thing entirely to create a product with broad usability (taking into account not just what can be done with it but it's weight, batter life, etc).

Courier looked cool but technology just does not exist to make it viable.

(That said, over here in Microsoft country the scuttlebutt is that Microsoft is busy working in an MSPad built atop the Windows Phone 7 OS).

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Reply Score: 3

hmm
by poundsmack on Thu 29th Apr 2010 21:23 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

i remember one of the big issues was power consumption for the dual screens. sad, i really loved the concept. I think we are still a good year off of something like this becoming mainstream, there are just a few to many technical limitations as of current.

Reply Score: 2

They are not ready yet
by theorz on Thu 29th Apr 2010 21:48 UTC
theorz
Member since:
2006-01-08

Right now Microsoft is not ready to launch a new platform like Courier.

They have had a lot of success layering features on a backwards compatible product. It has worked well and Windows has beaten many (arguably better) competitors over its lifetime because of backwards compatibility.

Now backwards compatibility is losing ground to user experience and a good web browser in regards to what consumers are looking for, but it is not there yet. Devices like the iPad are making inroads into into the average home like no windowsless computer before it. But this is still a small market.

Do people really expect Microsoft to join the leading charge into a web based, legacy application free world? They are going to keep trying to jam full windows onto these devices to preserve their historical advantage.

Now this does not mean they will never release a tablet with an OS designed for a tablet, as their Windows Phone 7 will (hopefully) show they are very capable of creating a new OS with a great user experience. If the iPad along with the coming round of Android and WebOS tablets do start cutting deep into into the home user market Microsoft will be there with a real tablet OS of their own.

Reply Score: 1

RE: They are not ready yet
by kaiwai on Fri 30th Apr 2010 04:51 UTC in reply to "They are not ready yet"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Right now Microsoft is not ready to launch a new platform like Courier.

They have had a lot of success layering features on a backwards compatible product. It has worked well and Windows has beaten many (arguably better) competitors over its lifetime because of backwards compatibility.

Now backwards compatibility is losing ground to user experience and a good web browser in regards to what consumers are looking for, but it is not there yet. Devices like the iPad are making inroads into into the average home like no windowsless computer before it. But this is still a small market.

Do people really expect Microsoft to join the leading charge into a web based, legacy application free world? They are going to keep trying to jam full windows onto these devices to preserve their historical advantage.

Now this does not mean they will never release a tablet with an OS designed for a tablet, as their Windows Phone 7 will (hopefully) show they are very capable of creating a new OS with a great user experience. If the iPad along with the coming round of Android and WebOS tablets do start cutting deep into into the home user market Microsoft will be there with a real tablet OS of their own.


Personally I think the argument from the position of backwards compatibility is largely a myth; if Microsoft did a giant purge of their operating system and it took the form of Windows 9, do you really think that there would be a mass exodus from Windows? where would they go to? a whole new platform that would require whole applications and so forth to be re-written from the ground up versus a cleaned up Windows 9 API that would merely require tweaking around the edge? Occasionally if you're the operating system vendor you have to beat your third party software writers into submission - get them to stop spending money on private jets, cocaine fuelled orgies (aka BroadCom ex-CEO anyone?) and son in favour of actually maintaining their code bases by moving them forward as old technologies are phased out of the operating system.

Take a look at the iPhone for example; is it restrictive? yes. Are there other choices one could develop for? sure. But guess what, Apple keeps whipping the developers over and over again with each release of iPhoneOS - when the OS released your application is expected to work, on launch day, with the new iPhoneOS. The problem with Microsoft is the fat that they just don't have the will power to make a decision such as that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: They are not - WGA
by jabbotts on Fri 30th Apr 2010 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: They are not ready yet"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think they have the will to do it but haven't yet tried in a meaningful way. It remains an implementation problem. Consider that WGA was, by Microsoft's own admission, designed to be overly annoying for users in the belief that they would then in turn force third party developers to clean up non-compliant code.

In terms of legacy cruft, MS also has all those enterprise customers that don't want to go back and replace 1995 era apps they've been ignoring updates for since the initial expense. MS could care a whiff for us lowly consumers but they won't risk upsetting the real money from enterprise contracts.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: They are not - WGA
by darknexus on Sat 1st May 2010 07:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: They are not - WGA"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Consider that WGA was, by Microsoft's own admission, designed to be overly annoying for users in the belief that they would then in turn force third party developers to clean up non-compliant code.


I think you mean UAC, not WGA. WGA was the technology in Windows XP that, supposedly, would prevent piracy. As we all know, that didn't work. UAC actually did work to some extent in getting ISVs to clean up their software, but then Microsoft goes and turns it down in Windows 7 leaving open a back door, just so they don't have to clean up their *own* codebases.
Anyway, back on topic now...

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Serves me right for posting on a friday. UAC was the feature I was thinking of.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Battery for courier
by Envying1 on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:22 UTC
Envying1
Member since:
2008-04-22

That's what I heard of as well. But I am sure that it's not the only hurdle MS have to face...

You can have a lot of great ideas and fabulous concepts, but A REAL PROJECT is a totally different story.

Reply Score: 1

Wet paper bag
by Sabon on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:29 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

What it means is that they couldn't innovate themselves out of a wet paper bag.

Tablet PCs have been a HUGE bust. The only thing they are good for is people using the stylus to click on boxes for questionnaires or ticking off boxes to verify that something has been done.

That scenario covers about .001% of all computer users in the world. Which is why it has been a big bust.

The best part about Tablet PCs is OneNote. The biggest weakness of that program is the stylus. Be honest people that have used it. It's a great idea but just wrong somehow. It wasn't done right because the people making it just couldn't get their thoughts straight.

I'm not the only one saying this. And again. Notice you don't see these things out in the real world except for very specialized employees.

I'm not talking out of ignorance. The organization I work for has about 300 of them. Almost all of the people using them which they could go back to a regular laptop. Most of them have purposely lost the stylus.

Reply Score: 2

Typical Microsoft.
by satan666 on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:37 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18

Typical Microsoft. They create either innovative stillborns or successful clones.

Reply Score: 5

Dammit.
by Tuishimi on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:47 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is sad. Ah well. I guess I cannot expect innovative change from MS overnight when they've been working in a different mode for a decade.

iPad it is. Next gen iPad here I come.

Reply Score: 3

Microsoft's Newton
by David on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:58 UTC
David
Member since:
1997-10-01

Apple released the Newton in 1993, and it was also ahead of its time. Then they finally got around to getting it right in 2007 with the iPhone. So if Microsoft's on the same schedule, we can all look forward to the Courier's successor in 2024.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Microsoft's Newton
by Tuishimi on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:01 UTC in reply to "Microsoft's Newton"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

By that time we'll all have network modem implants in our brains. ;) BLOGs will have a new meaning: Brain Logs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Microsoft's Newton
by David on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft's Newton"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Yes, I'm afraid that by then we'll be using a Minority Report-like user interface with UI elements projected directly into our optic nerves, so the book form factor will be somewhat old-fashioned. People will just walk around flicking at invisible objects in the air like crazy people.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Microsoft's Newton
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft's Newton"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I was kinda hoping we'd all be living in a completely realistic virtual world, indistinguishable from our own, filled with virtual people we ourselves create. New Caprica.

You just dashed my one last hope at ever courting Fiona. Boo.

Edited 2010-04-29 23:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Microsoft's Newton
by David on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Microsoft's Newton"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I'm only interested if the virtual world is filled with Zeppelins and fedoras, like New Cap City.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Microsoft's Newton
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Microsoft's Newton"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And Zoe. MOAR ZOE.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Microsoft's Newton
by Tuishimi on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft's Newton"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

[I already do that.]

Reply Score: 2

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
by helf on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:28 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

*falls to his knees crying*

Reply Score: 2

RE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
by David on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:33 UTC in reply to "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Is that you, Darth Vader? Ever since that last movie you've been such a baby. You used to be such a badass.

Reply Score: 3

RE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
by Laurence on Fri 30th Apr 2010 08:43 UTC in reply to "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"Damn you all; damn you all to hell"

Reply Score: 3

WHY??? WHY???
by kurgan2001 on Fri 30th Apr 2010 00:05 UTC
kurgan2001
Member since:
2008-12-31

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

WHY???? WHY?????

*sobs uncontrollably*

Reply Score: 1

NotionInk
by Jondice on Fri 30th Apr 2010 01:04 UTC
Jondice
Member since:
2006-09-20

On the bright side, there is this:
http://notionink.in/adamoverview.php

Reply Score: 2

Well
by Mr.Manatane on Fri 30th Apr 2010 07:08 UTC
Mr.Manatane
Member since:
2010-03-19

It shows how Apple is in advance face to their competitors ...

Microsoft talked about courier just trying to hide Apple's announcement of iPad but it seems they are way behind.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by frood
by frood on Fri 30th Apr 2010 12:40 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

So the device Gizmodo announced, and no one verified, is now cancelled? Also announced by Gizmodo? Sounds to me like they're just making up their own news.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by satan666
by satan666 on Fri 30th Apr 2010 16:13 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18
RE: Comment by satan666
by darknexus on Fri 30th Apr 2010 16:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by satan666"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That actually wouldn't surprise me at all, especially now that HP most likely has WebOS assuming the shareholders don't take them to court over their acquisition of Palm. It never had much chance anyway against the iPad, so this would make sense if true.

Reply Score: 2

Yearning for vaporware
by Chicken Blood on Fri 30th Apr 2010 22:56 UTC
Chicken Blood
Member since:
2005-12-21

From OS News Episode 33:
Thom Holwerda on MS Courier : "I wouldn't be surprised if this thing actually made it out of the company… This Courier thing, I wouldn't be surprised if before the end of the year you would already be able to buy it… I think it would be possible, definitely possible that this thing already actually exists. I'm confidant in that, that it might actually already exist."

Too bad Thom. You'll have to buy a NotionInk or a JooJoo or (heaven forbid) an iPad now ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by WinstonEwert
by WinstonEwert on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:58 UTC
WinstonEwert
Member since:
2005-07-06

Pens?

Why do people always want to think that pens are a good idea? They are way less efficient at input then a keyboard. Pen interfaces are only useful in situations where you cannot use a keyboard for some reason.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by WinstonEwert
by elmlish on Sat 1st May 2010 16:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by WinstonEwert"
elmlish Member since:
2010-05-01

Pens are fabulous for half of what I do. They are so much better than finger based interfaces. Keyboards are the best for typing, but as far as a pointing device pens are even better than mice in most cases.
Sure, it's not something I'd use to program, but to create art, it's the only way to go.

Reply Score: 1