The first details on Microsoft's supposedly secret Courier project emerged last year, and its design for a folding, dual-screen tablet has drawn a great deal of attention. But this device has apparently been sent back to the drawing board.
According to information leaking out of Microsoft, the designers haven't yet decided what the target market for this product is going to be. The original plan had been to make a digital organizer for creative work, but engineers are now considering making it a more general-purpose computer.
In addition, the hardware designers are apparently having problems giving a device that mostly screen a reasonable battery life.
As a result of both these issues, the earliest the Courier is going to be released is early next year.
A Preliminary Overview of the Microsoft Courier
The basic design of the Courier tablet is a device with two screens capable of folding like a book. According to information that came to light earlier this year, it will be roughly the size of a 5 x 7 photo, less than an inch thick, and weigh just over a pound.
It will supposedly have the same operating system core as Windows Phone 7 and the Zune HD, but with a different user interface.
Under the latest plan, this computer will come with a web browser, email software, an address book, to-do list and calendar, and will function as a mobile organizer. In addition, it will reportedly ship with e-book software, as acting as an eReader will be one of its major functions. An e-book store could be included on the device.
According to several videos of this device that have appeared on the Web, text will be entered by handwriting with a stylus.
It will apparently have a built-in camera and headphone jack, so some-form of multimedia playback seems likely.
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