While the whole world held its breath, waiting for Apple’s much awaited entry into Tablet computing, there is curiosity and excitement building up with another product from Microsoft – the Courier – that is already being touted as the next wonder device to hit us. Will Microsoft’s Courier, the astonishing take on the Tablet, manage to take the wind out of Apple’s sails? While we are yet to come up with a more definitive answer to this, let’s speculate on what is known as of now.
As has already been reported earlier in our e-reader blog, Microsoft’s gizmo is more like a book than a tablet. A hinge, to allow closure like a book, joins two flexible 7-inch screens. The screens rely completely on touch input and handwriting recognition. They are designed for writing, flicking or drawing, either with a stylus or with your finger. The stylus has several different modes like writing, painting or sketching. It comes with two quick access buttons; one for using it as a pen or marker and the other has ‘undo’ functions. The entire thing is less than an inch thick and measure about 5 by 7 inches. It won’t use the Windows 7, with it being Tegra 2 operating system that powers the Zune HD doing duty.
Statuses like Wi-fi connectivity or battery life are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. The back cover has a 3 mega-pixel camera with 4x zoom while there is also a built in headphone jack for media playback. The Courier will come with Microsoft Paint apps, web and photo browser, e-mail application and possibly an e-book reader. The Core operating system is a specialized version of Microsoft Windows 6.0
An innovative feature of the Courier will be its ability to clip content from websites or emails. The clipping has to be “tucked” underneath the physical hinge of the journal and pages flipped until it is pasted on the appropriate page. A new store built around e-books is also said to be in active stages of development.
Microsoft has given no official indication if and when the Courier, weighing less than a pound, will be launched. Its price still remains anybody’s guess. With no external keyboard, wireless connectivity and ability to work as a personal notebook cum daily planner, this ‘book’ seems to be a very potent and portable option for the readers of the world.
For more on this, turn to our e-reader forum.