Tech Blog

"I'm an iPad. And I'm a Courier."

by Retired Blogger on ‎03-08-2010 03:19 PM - last edited on ‎04-30-2012 11:58 AM by Retired Moderator

Ah yes, the Apple vs Microsoft rivalry is heating up again after this weekend's 'leak' (strategic release?) to Engadget of all sorts of interesting Courier tidbits.

...we just learned some very interesting information from an extremely trusted source. We're told Courier will function as a "digital journal," and it's designed to be seriously portable: it's under an inch thick, weighs a little over a pound, and isn't much bigger than a 5x7 photo when closed. That's a lot smaller than we expected -- this new picture really puts it into perspective -- and the internals apparently reflect that emphasis on mobility: rather than Windows 7, we're told the Courier is built on Tegra 2 and runs on the same OS as the Zune HD, Pink, and Windows Mobile 7 Series, which we're taking to mean Windows CE 6.

Now you could go an read the leak coverage at Engadget, or just hang out here and let me wax poetic on the two devices.

Now, it's too soon to really start contrasting the two devices, especially since we've only seen mockup images and animated video of the Courier -- whereas the Apple iPad is in production, prototype units have been widely shown, and the full retail version will be available in early April.

So, based on what we know now, the two units seem to be taking different approaches to positioning themselves in the same market niche; just below the portable laptop computer, but above the smart/data phone. But both want to be *supplimental computing devices*. You'd use them in your environment in addition to your laptop / desktop / VAX Mainframe, whatever :smileyhappy:

Both devices stress portability, large screens, multi-touch interfaces and the ability to display / play media, and both appear to have access to an online bookstore functionality.

And from a marketing perspective, Microsoft seems to have lifted a page from Apple's playbook and (with the Engadget news) targeted the Courier directly at designers, developers and media types -- traditionally Apple's core (sorry) market base.

Making some assumptions now:

  • the Courier will plug into the Zune Marketplace (Microsoft's version of the Apple Store) to allow you to purchase music, videos etc.
  • Courier will be wi-fi enabled and maybe 3G, be a player in most people's home networks, especially if it would seamlessly plug into Windows 7's Homegroup functionality.
  • Courier will not run Windows programs -- though it may run Window Mobile Apps, depending how the hardware and operating system shake down.

Of course, as time goes by and the iPad is released, and the Courier becomes more fact than fantasy, the details will solidify.

And then, the age old question 'Mac or PC?', will shift to the the portable tablet space -- 'Courier or iPad?' Based on what we *now* know, which are you? Courier makes me drool :smileyhappy:

Ok, my poetic has enough wax on it..let's watch Engadget's videos and anticipate the coming food fight!

by Katharine on ‎03-08-2010 05:17 PM

I never thought I'd be this excited about anything from Microsoft. Something serious would have to be wrong with it for me to not buy one, assuming it is within my price point.

by tturbo222 on ‎03-08-2010 07:41 PM

It looks more like a small notebook or paperback while the iPad looks like the screen side of a 12" laptop. Any phone on this one? I'd hate to have to add one of these big things and still have to use the other thing, I don't wear a utility belt and my purse only has so much room for tech.


Apps? Who does these better? Apple perhaps but apps for an iPhouch aren't unique. I'm going to go first on size/usability, then price and finally good applications that flow seemlessly through the cloud.

by Exalted Expert on ‎03-08-2010 08:16 PM

Hmm.  Very clever little device with some intuitive touch controls.  I'm definitely keeping my eye on this one.  Let the flame wars begin.

by Danielle Gauthier on ‎03-09-2010 10:12 AM
I might buy a couple of these so I can use both hands - I am really excited about this. I was disappointed in myself for considering getting an iPad, now I can rest easy that I don't have to. This looks like something that could be used in so many different work/play settings and look forward to more details. This might be the most exciting thing to happen to me since the mp3 player. Oh, and I have a Zune. The videos of the Courier made me drool too...
by Retired Blogger on ‎03-10-2010 09:07 AM

@Katherine: yep, price point will make or break the Courier.


@tturbo222: Too soon to tell on all your points. Microsoft's not really releasing a lot of info on it at this time, so what we see are strategic 'leaks'.


@Credible_Chris: Me too! And flamewars...yes, that will be interesting to watch.


@Danielle Gauthier: Happy you're not compromising your standards -- it will be one to watch, for sure.

by Exalted Expert on ‎03-10-2010 02:13 PM

@tturbo222, while I have no way to currently confirm this, I wouldn't be too hopeful on this coming with phone features (like the iPad, although you never know).  Like the iPad, it may be compatible with applications like Skype which would allow you to make internet phone calls if/when you have a data connection.  When folded up, it looks like this one will be smaller than the iPad, and thus more likely to fit in your purse (assuming you have a decent size purse).


The Courier idea is an interesting one, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the form factor myself... neat idea, but just not quite for me.  Personally, I'm still holding out for the HP Slate! :smileyhappy: 


But I do like how they are setting this up to work and how it seems this actually will be a usable notepad, etc.  Few tablet computers have really been particularly good as a notepad for writing, but this one seems like it just might be able to be used as a notepad, so that's something that could truely make this a useful device that seperates it from the other tablets out there.  :smileyhappy:

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