What a wild week in technology it has been. Sony
has been sued, HTC
has to pay Microsoft
each time they sell an Android phone, Adobe and
are publicly humiliating one another, Palm
was purchased by HP,
and now Microsoft has decided against following the herd and producing
a tablet of their own. Wait, what?
For those who don't closely follow Microsoft
's every move, the death of
a product you've never heard of probably comes as somewhat of a shock.
You weren't hidden under a rock or anything, it's just that Microsoft
never actually came forward and confirmed that a so-called "Courier"
was a real product before. Well, until they did so today by announcing
that the very product that had been rumored for years was in fact no
longer moving forward towards production.
The tale is a long and winding one, but the story sadly ends today.
Well, at least for now. Or so they say. It's a confusing story that has
an even more confusing conclusion, particularly when you consider that
just about everyone is either already planning to enter the Tablet PC
arena or is shipping a tablet as we speak. Microsoft has never been one
to back down; they introduced the Zune
even in the face of
unsurmountable competition from the iPod, and Windows Mobile was
effectively put on the back burner as they created Windows Phone 7 to
compete with iPhone OS, WebOS and Android. So, why pull out of the
For those who don't know the backstory, whispers had told that
Microsoft was secretly planning to release their own tablet PC, the
"Courier." Renders even emerged, and many were hoping this would be the
"iPad killer" we're all still waiting for. When Microsoft CEO Steve
Ballmer arrived at CES with a tablet on hand, many just knew it was the
Courier's turn to shine; instead, the HP Slate was revealed. A fine
machine, but certainly not one with the hype of the Courier. The
renders looked amazing, and the user interface honestly looked like
nothing the world had ever seen. Now, we may never see it in reality.
Frank Shaw, the lead of Microsoft's PR department, came forward today
with this statement:
"At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested and incubated. The 'Courier' project is an example of this type
of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future
Of course, Microsoft may restart the project at any time, but it's not
likely in our estimation. Tablet PCs have never been hotter, and
there's no better time to jump on the bandwagon than now. Waiting five
years probably isn't the smartest move to make, so if you were hoping
for a Microsoft-branded tablet, you should probably try to put it all
behind you and move forward. Tough news to hear, we're sure.