Microsoft Courier

Microsoft page-curl Courier patent application seems far-fetched

Microsoft page-curl Courier patent application seems far-fetched

Sometimes we wonder whether companies file patent applications just to push their luck and see what they can get approved; how else can you explain Microsoft's attempt to patent page-curl screen transitions?  The new application - filed all the way back in January 2009 - describes a very iBooks-like system whereby dragging your finger across a page of text on-screen lifts the virtual page and previews the content underneath.

According to the description, Microsoft were trying to replicate the real paper experience: the lifted page would have increased transparency, showing signs of the text on its reverse, while flipping repeatedly would quickly whip through two or more pages.  It's speculated that the project was part of Microsoft's Courier research, and could've been used as part of their digital notebook.

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Microsoft confirm reshuffle: Robbie Bach & J Allard depart (but “unrelated” to Courier)

Microsoft confirm reshuffle: Robbie Bach & J Allard depart (but “unrelated” to Courier)

Having been rumored late last week, it's now confirmed that Robbie Bach and J Allard of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division will be leaving the company.  Bach, who for five years has led the division, will not be replaced, as part of a scheme that will see Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer take more direct control of the Windows Phone and Xbox teams.  Allard, meanwhile, will take a new, less time-intensive role as "advisor" to Ballmer; he told TechFlash that, contrary to speculation, the change is unrelated to Microsoft cancelling the Courier dual-display tablet.

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Microsoft’s J Allard Could be Leaving Over Courier Cancellation

Microsoft’s J Allard Could be Leaving Over Courier Cancellation

There's no doubt in our mind that when Microsoft pulled the plug on the Courier, a lot of people got upset. We know that's probably the case because we're definitely in that pool. It was definitely one of the most attractive and interesting Microsoft concepts to come out in years, but, as Fate would have it, it's just not going to happen. But, you know who was more angry than anyone else? J Allard.

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Apple, iPad & why the stylus isn’t dead

Apple, iPad & why the stylus isn’t dead

"It's like we said on the iPad, if you see a stylus, they blew it." The audience sniggered. There was no small sense that Steve Jobs had carefully prepared that line earlier and had it waiting; that like the repetitious declarations of the iPad as "miraculous" by every person to take the stage at its launch, this snub at Microsoft's expense had similarly been rehearsed, a barbed nugget guaranteed to set the gathered journalists, bloggers and Mac-faithful a-titter. A stylus is, after all, old-school; a flawed halfway house before the advent of the iPhone and iPad. Jobs' Apple can't see a reason for one, and they reckon you should think so too. And yet, as input methods go, the stylus remains one of the most misunderstood.

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Courier is dead, long live Courier?

Courier is dead, long live Courier?

Ah, Courier, we hardly knew you. "We have no plans" Microsoft say "to build such a device at this time." Now, perhaps it's my tablet-addled, ever-hopeful mind, but that doesn't sound quite the same thing as "you won't see a Courier-style device." In fact, you could easily interpret it as a carefully worded workaround: we're not going to build a Microsoft Courier, the company says, but other firms might. After all, they've already mention that "its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings."

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Microsoft Courier Not Heading Into Production

Microsoft Courier Not Heading Into Production

Here's some remarkably bad news. It seems that the Microsoft Courier, the dual-screen digital journal with Tegra 2 inside, has been scrapped. According to the report from The Wall Street Journal, it seems that Microsoft executives informed the internal team working on the Courier that the project was no longer supported by Microsoft, and that it's been removed from future production. Of course, Microsoft had never officially come forward and publicly announced the Courier, but we know it existed.

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