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