Courier, Microsoft’s New Booklet Computer

The folks over at Gizmodo are reporting that Microsoft has created a new type of portable computer, not a tablet, but a booklet. Simply called Courier, this little device is definitely different from what people were expecting from either Microsoft or Apple, but my dreams of having Penny’s book computer from Inspector Gadget may be finally coming true. I’ve decided to write up my likes and worries about the device, but first you should visit Gizmodo and watch the video with the Courier in action.

First off I love the idea of this in general. Having a little computer book to carry around could be really great and save space in my bag. I love that you can not only use your fingers but a stylus as well, and I’d wager that it’ll be a multi-touch display, as evidenced by the pinching and dragging. I like the idea of a built-in camera, though I’m not sure how often I’d use it if I have my iPhone in my pocket. Having access to my contacts and maps is a no-brainer as well, so obviously this thing has WiFi support as well.

Okay, so now my worries and concerns. First, I would definitely point out that the video is completely computer generated. I’m doubtful that the screens are going to be that bright and vibrant, though I could definitely be wrong. There’s also the issue of speed and how quickly the system will react to touch. The video makes it look absolutely seamless, but yet again, who knows? I’m also quite curious to see how it actually feels in your hands, whether it will fit snugly or if it could be bulky and feel awkward. There are no spec sizes so far, so it’s hard to say. It also has writing recognition, which I feel is still a sketchy area to dabble in. My 84 year old grandmother has crazy, cursive handwriting, would it work on there?

Coming from a big Apple geek, I will definitely say that this looks absolutely amazing and holds a ton of promise. If this was Apple I would be absolutely drooling, knowing that they’ve meticulously crafted this baby into perfection. But Microsoft doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt, especially after Vista. I think that if Microsoft can really do this right then Apple is going to have a serious contender.


September 22, 2009