by Tom Kaneshige

Microsoft Courier Tablet Revealed

Sep 22, 2009
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Gizmodo uncovers Microsoft mystery device, called Courier.

As the world waits with bated breath for any word about the rumored Apple tablet, Microsoft just won’t be outdone. Gizmodo provided details Tuesday about Microsoft’s Courier, a prototype of a tablet (apparently, there are many prototypes in the works).

According to Gizmodo, the Courier’s dual touchscreens fold into a booklet. With a nod to the Newton, users can not only touch the screens but use a stylus. On the back cover is a camera. The tablet leverages digital ink technology.

Microsoft's Courier Tablet
Microsoft’s Courier Tablet

Here’s how Gizmodo describes it: “The Courier user experience presented here is almost the exact opposite of what everyone expects the Apple tablet to be, a kung fu eagle claw to Apple’s tiger style. It’s complex: Two screens, a mashup of a pen-dominated interface with several types of multitouch finger gestures, and multiple graphically complex themes, modes and applications.”

Like Apple, Microsoft has been super secretive about the skunkworks project, which is spearheaded by Chief Experience Officer J Allard. Yet Courier is reportedly in the late prototype stage of development. Prototypes and designs have made it out of secret Microsoft labs to outside agencies, making it more susceptible to being leaked.

Tom Kaneshige is a senior writer at CIO. Send him an email at Or follow him on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline.