In late 2009, a tablet concept in development at Microsoft set tech blogs aflutter. The device was code-named “Courier,” and it consisted of two connected touchscreens that folded open like a book. The slate was seen as a fantastic product that could serve as a digital notebook on top of a standard media tablet, but Microsoft would later confirm that work on the Courier was being discontinued. A new iPad app was made available this week that resurrects the spirit of the Courier however, and it’s easy to see why: the team behind Paper by FiftyThree includes several people who once worked on the Courier project at Microsoft. Billed as the “place where ideas begin,” Paper by FiftyThree is a stunning sketchbook with a built-from-scratch user interface that makes recording ideas, notes, sketches and diagrams an experience rather than a chore. A video showcasing Paper by FiftyThree follows below, and the app is available immediately in Apple’s App Store for free. More →
It looks like Microsoft is doing a little spring cleaning in their beleaguered Entertainment Group, as a just announced corporate shake up aims to keep the Redmond company nimble enough to compete with Google and Apple in the mobile device and entertainment product spaces. The biggest moves see Chief Technology Officer of the Entertainment Group, J Allard — whose Courier project was recently axed — and Robbie Bach, the same groups President, leaving the company. Allard, who has been on sabbatical from Microsoft for quite some time, was in charge of several high profile projects — including the Zune and Xbox — will stay on as a consultant; Bach will be leaving the company completely. What say you? What changes/products would you like to see Microsoft’s Entertainment Group make? More →
We wanted to do something special for the end of CES 2010, so we’ve recorded a nice little wrap up of most of the mobile content we saw as well as some other good stuff like home entertainment, TV’s, etc. Check out our wrap up podcast below!
Special shout out to Sprint for sponsoring our CES content.
Apple’s tablet might have captured our imagination but leaked renders of Microsoft’s secret Courier tablet have captured our hearts. Believe it or not, it’s actually quite difficult to describe the Courier. It’s comprised of two hinged multitouch displays that are each about seven inches diagonal. They open away from each other like a book, and rest in a case that resembles a book jacket. Responding to both finger gestures and the precise touch of a stylus, the screens cooperate with one another to allow users to drag documents, pictures, text and various other elements of the UI from screen to screen. Other notes: there is a home button on the hinge, status LEDs along the side and even a 3 megapixel camera with flash and 4x digital zoom for good measure. We’re dying to know more about and see more of the Courier, something which Giz is more than happy to do as it has made it clear that this is just the beginning of its coverage. Hit the jump to see some absolutely awesome eye candy.