Courier - Microsoft's next-generation Tablet

Gizmodo has the scoop on Microsoft's new tablet device, currently codenamed "Courier"

Looks pretty good. I've been wanting a Tablet the size of a 9 inch netbook for a while, yet the Gigabyte M12 and other similar devices were either too expensive for what they were, or underpowered, a Dell Mini 9 with a convertable screen, with a Wacom behind it would be awesome, but it seems we've had to put up with dumb-touch screens. My 12 inch Motion is pretty big to just stick in a bag. This "Courier" device features two 7 inch screens. So its footprint folded up should be smaller still, yet with much more screen real estate when you get it out.

This is also rumoured to be the project that J Allard has been working on since he left the Zune a while back. While some may see that as a good sign - I don't. J Allard's involvement with the Zune saw it not work with Windows Media Player and other PlaysForSure devices, and embrace a much more closed model, aka iPod. Which is a bad thing.

This machine needs to run Windows. Hopefully it'll go the same sort of route as Origami, those super-expensive chunky netbook sized Tablets from a few years back. Which ran Windows, but had the Origami UI on top. The browser shown in the video below looks quite like the Origami wrapper around IE.

It also works with both touch and a stylus, hopefully they won't cheap out and will use a Wacom style tablet, being able to hover above the screen is something you just can't make up for with regular touch, plus you could disable the capacitive touch screen whenever the stylus is within range of the screen, so your hand resting on it wouldn't be recoginised, which you couldn't do with a dumb-stylus.

The device is in the late-prototype stage, so hopefully next year we'll see some more firm details on it.

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