Microsoft Courier

Microsoft Courier lives on in Windows 8 app “Project Austin”

Microsoft Courier lives on in Windows 8 app “Project Austin”

Many people were excited for Microsoft Courier, a dual-screen tablet aimed at creative types, but unfortunately Microsoft pulled the plug before the project could ever see the light . Courier lives on, however, in a new Windows 8 note app created by a group of developers from Microsoft's Visual C++ team. The app has been codenamed Project Austin, and it allows you do a variety of things when it comes to creating digital notes.

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Has functionality finally caught up with the Android spec race?

Has functionality finally caught up with the Android spec race?

Samsung has woken up to context: the Galaxy Note 10.1 has a fast quadcore processor and twice as much memory as most rivals, but listen to Samsung's pitch and you'd hardly know it. Instead of the usual breathless glee over hardware and technical abilities, the Note 10.1 tells you exactly what it can do with all that's under the hood. Namely, bring the stylus back in style, and create a compellingly different approach to tableteering, distinct to what Apple's iPad offers.

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Four Microsoft Courier alternatives for Android

Four Microsoft Courier alternatives for Android

This week we're hearing quite a bit about a couple of applications for iPad, one of which was created by the folks who were once going to bring you the Microsoft Courier - but what about Android? As it turns out, these two applications for iPad, Tapose and Paper don't currently have one whole heck of a lot of choice when it comes to such sleekness as Paper. That said, there are four apps out there at least that will bring you drawing power for the time being - with updates to each on the way soon, of course.

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Taposé hits iPad: Courier in app form

Taposé hits iPad: Courier in app form

Digital notetaking and collaboration app Taposé has finally been allowed into the iPad App Store, recreating some of Microsoft's ill-fated Courier concept on Apple's tablet. The $2.99 app promises to make journaling and webpage snipping straightforward, with a twin-pane layout for dragging live content between the web and a notebook, along with sketching, mark-up and other tools. Meanwhile a cloud storage system keeps notes updated - with export options to send them over to Evernote and Dropbox - and allows for collaborative work between multiple remote users.

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Apple rejects Taposé iPad app for Microsoft Courier fans

Apple rejects Taposé iPad app for Microsoft Courier fans

Apple has rejected an iPad app that attempted to bring some of Microsoft's Courier concept to the iOS slate, Taposé, though the team behind the software say it plans to appeal the decision. First shown back in April last year, Taposé uses a split-screen layout with a browser and other apps on one side and a digital notebook on the other. Unfortunately, it seems Apple wasn't keen on the company's use of multiple display windows.

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Bill Gates stuck knife in Courier tablet tip insiders

Bill Gates stuck knife in Courier tablet tip insiders

Microsoft's Courier project died in no small part because Bill Gates feared it would cost the company in Outlook sales, despite the content-creation device being only months from a potential launch. According to new leaks about the dual-screen tablet, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called company founder Gates in to meet with the Windows 8 and Courier teams, to help decide which of the two competing tablet strategies would be pursued. Gates, always a fan of anything that supported Microsot's Exchange/Windows app ecosystem, grew wary of Courier project lead J Allard's apparent unconcern with the status quo, CNET reports, and recommended to Ballmer that Windows 8 form the centerpiece of the tablet drive.

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Microsoft axes Courier-creating Pioneer Studios

Microsoft axes Courier-creating Pioneer Studios

Microsoft has shuttered its Pioneer Studios consumer electronics operation, a skunkworks project the company had hoped would enable it to develop innovative technologies and products. Responsible for the Microsoft Courier concept, the KIN phones and various chunks of Windows Phone 7, Xbox and Zune, CNET reports, Pioneer Studios had been led my ex-Entertainment and Device CTO J Allard, who left the company last year.

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Microsoft Courier style comes to tablets with Tapose app

Microsoft Courier style comes to tablets with Tapose app

If you are a CES hound as we are you might recall at CES 2010 Microsoft showed off an interesting tablet with two screens called the Courier. At the time the Courier debuted, the indication was that the thing would actually go into production. Microsoft dashed those dreams when it later announced it had no intention of producing the dual screen tablet. If you like that dual screen style and the things that it could potentially allow you to do, you might like the Tapose app that has surfaced.

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A Real Tablet has a Stylus

A Real Tablet has a Stylus

2011 may be the year of the tablet, but as a segment it's still painfully immature. Our hands-on with ASUS' Eee Slate EP121 last week triggered the usual arguments, dismissing the 12.1-inch tablet out of hand because of its perceived "old" technology. Admittedly, there are plenty of points where the EP121 could fall short: ASUS reckon users will see up to 8hrs runtime, which seems hopelessly ambitious for a relatively slimline slate with a Core i5 processor, and the display was frustratingly glossy. Still, the dual-mode hybrid touchscreen is its crowning glory for those who understand that there's more to a stylus than most - Steve Jobs included - would have you believe.

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Microsoft Courier-style pen & touch patent application filed

Microsoft Courier-style pen & touch patent application filed

Microsoft's Courier project, which endeared itself to tablet-philes with its promise of dual-displays and an innovative pen-and-finger interface, but then was cruelly axed before launch, keeps spawning patent applications.  The latest - Bimodal Touch Sensitive Digital Notebook - describes the different ways in which two types of touchscreen input, using fingers and a more precise digital stylus, could be implemented for better control of a slate.

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