Microsoft Courier caught a lot of attention when an introduction video for the device leaked out last week. The leaking continued on Tuesday with a brand new demo video courtesy of Gizmodo, plus a rumored launch time frame and a deeper insight into what this project is all about.
Microsoft Courier: A quick primer
Courier is a rumored portable tablet that is believed to be in the prototype phase of development at Microsoft headquarters. The Courier has two 7-inch, presumably color, touchscreens that use a combination of multitouch and stylus inputs. From what we've seen so far, Courier does not have any kind of keyboard -- virtual or physical -- and depends completely on handwriting recognition software for entering text. Tech specs are scarce, but Courier would have Wi-Fi connectivity and a camera.
[ Reports say Microsoft is working on a tablet-style computer that could compete with Apple's rumored device. | On the topic of Microsoft's Courier, InfoWorld's Robert X. Cringley says: Take two tablets and call me when it's real. ]
One of Courier's key application features is something called the Infinite Journal. Similar to Microsoft OneNote, the Infinite Journal lets you store Web pages, notes, photos, and other pieces of information you need to keep together. Infinite Journal also features an online collaboration tool where you can publish your notes to a Web site where other people can view and edit your work.
To search through your Infinite Journal you can either enter a search term with your stylus or scroll through your pages using a Cover Flow-like interface. A really cool new feature shows the spine of Courier acting as a virtual pocket for information. In the video, the user grabs a photo from one page of her Infinite Journal (what a terrible name), "tucks" the image into the spine of her Courier, flips back to another page, and places the photo where she wants it. The new video also shows off Courier's drawing capabilities for use by designers and graphic artists.
Not to be outdone by Gizmodo's video leaks, ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley has uncovered some information as well. Her sources have told her Courier was inspired, at least in part, by Franklin Covey planning products and that Courier will run a version of Windows 7.