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Microsoft "Courier" Pictures

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the bandwagon-or-shark-jumping dept.

Microsoft 230

tekgoblin writes to let us know that Gizmodo has some early shots of the new prototype "Courier" booklet (foldable tablet) on the way from Microsoft. "Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the 'late prototype' stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They're connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre."

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230 comments

Wrong link (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376448)

The article linked in the summary goes to wrong link (the same we discussed about in September [slashdot.org] )

Correct article with info [gizmodo.com] . Picture gallery is here [engadget.com] .

I must admit it does look awesome though. It's just perfect for use on sofa, as booklet is held like, well, a book. Laptop nor tablet aren't as nice and comfortable. There's no way I'll be buying the locked down tablet-like iPad when this is coming up.

Re:Wrong link (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376690)

I find your optimism that this device won't be locked down interesting...

Back when rumor first started, it was about a Windows 7 based device. That wouldn't have been "open" in the FSF sense; but it would have implied the continuation of Microsoft's historical commitment to backwards compatibility and 3rd party developers(yes, they can and have crushed the 3rd party developers who got in their way like bugs; but they are otherwise overjoyed to have people writing stuff that depends on their platforms).

The currently displayed model is Win CE based, and almost definitely the new Windows CE, the one with no backwards compatibility and all managed code, and still uncertain application distribution mechanisms, and integration with the locked-down worlds of zune and xbox. CE 6.5 and earlier were tottering heaps of suck; but they were open in a manner similar to desktop Windows(at least when your mobile carrier hadn't been messing with them).

Since Microsoft is currently getting hammered in the smartphone and embedded space, there is strong reason to believe that they will(simply of necessity) be more benevolent to developers than Apple is(perhaps a nicer revenue split, less jerking around, cheap dev tools, whatever); but there is no particular reason to suspect that they will be anything other than a (comparatively) benevolent overlord.

Re:Wrong link (4, Informative)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376808)

You are confusing Windows CE and Windows Mobile. They aren't the same thing (not even close in fact). Windows Mobile runs on Windows CE. Windows CE is a kernel + a bunch of modules that you can strip/add depending on your needs for your embedded device.

If Windows Mobile runs on Windows CE .... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377014)

... Windows Mobile IS Windows CE.

I really find amusement at how stupid people can become when they are fans of X product/company.

Re:If Windows Mobile runs on Windows CE .... (4, Informative)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377072)

If Windows Mobile runs on Windows CE ... Windows Mobile IS Windows CE. I really find amusement at how stupid people can become when they are fans of X product/company.

Child, please...

An OEM (or MS) can take CE, strip it of everything they don't need (for example for their particular device they might not even need a filesystem and related modules), add their own stuff to it, and the result would be something you'd never recognize as Windows CE. There are countless gadgets and gizmos out there running CE that you don't know about (you probably even own a few w/o knowing it).

Windows Mobile (all versions) are built over Windows CE. The Zune HD is built over Windows CE. Is there any fucking similarity between Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Zune HD? No -- because just having the same kernel means nothing. Or if I were to follow your logic, I would come to the conclusion that the Zune HD IS Windows CE.. which is ridiculous..

Re:Wrong link (2, Interesting)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376812)

I'm fine with that - I want one of these so bad, you could probably just charge me now :D

I am a HUGE moleskine nut, and the one-note style interface is great, because I'm a complete one-note addict. This basically pushes all my buttons, which the iPad did not.

We'll see how it translates into reality, of course. That's always different :)

Re:Wrong link (4, Insightful)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377180)

Is there a particular reason to believe that they WILL lock it down?

I haven't seen any evidence of them doing that with any other platform they've released with the exception of Xbox360 and Xbox Live.

Their Desktop and Mobile operating systems have been paragon's of "openness" from the standpoint of installing applications and I really don't see why they'd change this.

You can accuse me of being an MS FanBoi if you want but this post was typed in a Chrome browser and there is a Moto Droid strapped to my hip.

Re:Wrong link (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376844)

Here's another snazzy vid (first one after the brief article). http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/05/microsofts-courier-digital-journal-exclusive-pictures-and-de/ [engadget.com]

I don't care who makes new tech, I just care that it work like I need/want it to. I hope msft delivers, but after surface and photosynth (which I don't think has been put to any amazing uses), I'm extremely skeptical. I hope they make it happen though. This looks great.

Re:Wrong link (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376858)

I would consider a Courier except for the fact that it won't support email as standard. According to the article Microsoft have decided that email is outmoded and won't be supported on their new device except as a legacy add on for 'last generation' computer users. In fact Bill Gates is quoted as saying "in Courier, email is only for old people."

Until I can buy one (2, Insightful)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376476)

It's all just so much "me too" vapourware from Microsoft

Re:Until I can buy one (1, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376518)

It may be "me too", but it's "me too" done better than Apple did.

Re:Until I can buy one (2, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376644)

Better? I don't know. Different, for sure. Before the iPad came out, I thought for sure I'd want some sort of dual-screen folding tablet thing, and the courier does look pretty cool for many tasks. But for browsing the web, that big, uninterrupted iPad window is pretty nice.

Before I invest in either, I really have to think about what I'm going to be doing with it. It's nice to see these sorts of devices really coming into their own. As much as I have an affinity for Apple devices, they're definitely not the only solution in town.

Re:Until I can buy one (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376668)

But for browsing the web, that big, uninterrupted iPad window is pretty nice.

The lack of Flash support kind of throw that option out already. And since Courier is Windows CE, I'm pretty sure it will have flash support out of the box, and other browsers like Opera too.

Re:Until I can buy one (2, Interesting)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377070)

> > But for browsing the web, that big, uninterrupted iPad window is pretty nice.
> The lack of Flash support kind of throw that option out already.

Meh.

I'm a lot less hostile to Flash these days than I used to be, due to the advent of FlashBlock, which allows the Flash plugin to be installed without making the web completely unusable from that computer.

But I still haven't figured out why anyone *cares* about it. My primary browser doesn't have the plugin installed, simply because I haven't bothered. I had it installed in Firefox 2.x, but when I upgraded to 3.0 I would have had to install it again or make a symlink, and I never bothered.

I do have a couple of other browsers sitting around that have Flash support (Konqueror, for instance), but I almost never use them for that. On the extremely rare occasion that I actually want to watch a YouTube video, I usually download it and watch it in Totem or somesuch. (There's an add-on for Firefox that lets you download even the ones that don't otherwise have a download link.) I experimented briefly with smart.fm, but I found that it didn't really meet my needs, and I ended up using a real SRS instead.

Re:Until I can buy one (3, Interesting)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376834)

I don't think I'd buy this as a web browser. I think I'd buy this to replace my moleskine - which right now is a big mess of drawings, notes, and clips of things taped into place.
It holds everything from code samples to to UI mockups - and I write much faster with a pen (like Graffiti 1/2 or paper) than on a slow on screen keyboard.

Re:Until I can buy one (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377040)

I've grown all too accustomed to "working" on two monitors. There are two tasks that I do that really benefit from two screens. One is researching things on the web and transferring that research into whatever document I'm working on. The other is writing code and being able to browse forums and other sources of examples. If I wanted to do one thing at a time or just watch a movie, an iPad would probably work. If I wanted to do anything productive, I'd appreciate the other screen.

As it is, I don't want either. I do my work at work where I have a desktop and servers and all the tools that I need. When I leave work, I might answer the occasional email on my Blackberry but that's it. In a really worst case scenario I might fire up the VPN client on my desktop.

Re:Until I can buy one (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376582)

Exactly. Similar to how the iPod was "me too" in response to the already existing DAP market, or how the iPad is a "me too" to tablet PC's that have been around for a decade.

Re:Until I can buy one (2, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376902)

Sure, and the tablet PCs are a "me too" to the Newton and eMate, etc. The difference is that you can actually buy iPods and you'll be able to order an iPad next week for delivery about a month from now. These leaks from Microsoft are just an attempt to spread FUD and suppress iPad sales until Microsoft can whip up a competing product. Fortunately, Microsoft's typical "suppress innovation until we're ready with an almost-ran" tactic isn't going to work very well against Apple because of their momentum with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Re:Until I can buy one (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377062)

A Wall Street Journal article quoted Apple as anticipating selling 6 million iPads in the first year. We will see whether or not the can manage that.

Re:Until I can buy one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377202)

Next week? You mean in early April? The iPad is not out next week.

Re:Until I can buy one (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377186)

MSFT has been doing tablets for almost a decade. however it took apple to design a smart phone with a tablet interface.

the ipad will blow away windows based tablets because you can't take a desktop GUI and shove it onto a tablet and call it a tablet OS. it is something that no one else seems willing to fully do but apple.

It will take MSFt 3 years to duplicate the iphones major interface elements for touch screens. MSFt spends $9 billion in R&D and they get crap for it.

Call it vaporware if you like... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376610)

It's all just so much "me too" vapourware from Microsoft

It's definitely not a "me too" device. At least I've not seen anything else in this form factor.

"Me too" maybe, Vapo(u)rware definitely. (4, Insightful)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376796)

When Microsoft says "late prototype" I read it as "we've got nothing, really, but if we say we're about to release something, a non-zero percentage of the market will sit on their thumbs until we do, instead of buying actual products that are actually available from other sources, because by golly, we're Microsoft."

(Yes, I know, it actually works. And no, I don't think that's a very nice tactic.)

This isn't going to work. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376506)

When automobiles were just invented, they had some designs that put a fake horse's head on the front of the car. This was supposed to calm down real horses and people that were on the road. I see this notebook? booklet? whatever? is designed to resemble a real book, but it doesn't have the advantages of a real book. It's gonna flop.

Re:This isn't going to work. (3)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376538)

The benefit is obviously that you get twice the screen real-estate when it's "open" and it's more portable when it's "closed". Not exactly rocket surgery, dude.

Re:This isn't going to work. (2)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376584)

And I would also imagine it being a lot better to hold. Notebook or laptop aren't exactly comfortable on bed/sofa/other place than on a table, but books surely are.

Re:This isn't going to work. (2, Funny)

CTalkobt (81900) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376622)

And I would also imagine it being a lot better to hold. Notebook or laptop aren't exactly comfortable on bed/sofa/other place than on a table, but books surely are.

Speak for yourself - it's all dependent upon belly size.

Re:This isn't going to work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376702)

Oh, I see now. It's twice the weight it could be when it's closed. And it doesn't have a nice, large screen when it's open. Yup, that'll fly, Einstein!

Re:This isn't going to work. (4, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376632)

Maybe Microsoft will learn from those mistakes and put a fake horse's ass on this device.

Courier? (5, Funny)

Gerald (9696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376510)

What if I want a Comic Sans?

Re:Courier? (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376660)

Well you can't always get what you want. And roving bands of angry, pitchfork-wielding graphic designer vigilantes make sure that fans of Comic Sans never get what they want. They'll be at your door shortly.

Re:Courier? (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377112)

What if I want a Comic Sans?

Call the suicide hotline, or avoid mentioning your desire for the font whose name we don't speak of.

Correct Links (-1, Troll)

tekgoblin (1675894) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376512)

The story was originally posted by me, but slashdot grabbed the wrong links. Follow this one, http://www.tekgoblin.com/2227/news/microsoft-courier-pictures/ [tekgoblin.com]

Re:Correct Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376924)

ohnoitsroland

Booklet? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376516)

MS's ability to name things has always be bad.

Re:Booklet? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376556)

What's wrong with booklet though? I think it's quite illustrative as it has two screens and you hold it like a book, and close the same way too.

Re:Booklet? (1, Troll)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376652)

What's wrong with booklet though?

The booklet is a Microsoft initiative (no, I won't write "Microsoft" with a dollar sign) and this is Slashdot. This booklet could cost five dollars, include a free phone, cure cancer and have a battery life of 9.5 years on a single charge and it would still be considered the most evil device ever created, ranking right up there with child-maiming landmines.

Re:Booklet? (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376752)

This booklet could cost five dollars, include a free phone, cure cancer and have a battery life of 9.5 years on a single charge and it would still be considered the most evil device ever created, ranking right up there with child-maiming landmines.

I'm no MS fan, but really?

I mean, if you don't like a company, just don't buy their products. I certainly don't and I can function just fine without them. There are plenty of choices these days.

You're probably right (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376800)

You may be right, and for good reason - for all those tantalizing features would be paired with equal evils.

- The free phone would only work through MSN.
- The cancers cured would be unpopular, and only those of the target demographic.
- 9.5 years of battery life - when used according to a reverse-engineered use case, derived from massaged statistics. Likely lots of standby and minimal 'push-only' feature use, again through MSN.

Bleh.

Productized technology makes me grimace. I don't want orange juice at an inflated price - I want wholesale-priced oranges so I can do what I damned well please.

Re:Booklet? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377236)

What's wrong with booklet though?

Well, for starters it might be tough to get a trademark on the term "booklet". The term "booklet" is too generic and not distinctive enough that people would associate it with only the Microsoft product of the same name; iPad is a distinctive trademarked term whereas "booklet" is not.

Re:Booklet? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376712)

By the time this moves from prototype to release, "Booklet" will seem like the soul of wit.

"Microsoft Booklet Live Mobility Series Professional Edition" rolls off only the nimblest of tongues...

Re:Booklet? (4, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376982)

MS's ability to name things has always be bad.

Maybe Microsoft's wit for naming things is rubbing off on Apple. I mean really, iPad!?

Heh, Microsoft could say this is like an iPad, but with wings.

Pre? (2, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376552)

an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.

It's a bad sign that the Palm Pre comparisons have already started. If this thing winds up being to the iPad what the Pre is to the iPhone, it's already dead. It will have great promise and hope that will be dashed as soon as you try to use the thing. Sort of like a Democratic majority in Congress....

Re:Pre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376636)

Yeah, it charges with an inductive pad like the Pre, it must be DOA! ...

Seriously, how is that even a comparison?

Re:Pre? (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376658)

Never mind that inductive charging is an inefficient waste of power. I hope the EPA comes down hard on this and denies EnergyStar certification for anyone who attempts this with a full power computer.

Re:Pre? (4, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377066)

I don't think EnergyStar certification is important to most people when it comes to charging their portable devices.

yes, (4, Funny)

sadtrev (61519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376602)

but does it run Linux?

or can we run Android on it? :) (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376710)

Subject says it all.

Re:or can we run Android on it? :) (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376756)

Theres better change for that be possibility than on iPad or other devices - Android can already be run in Windows Mobiles and generally Windows doesn't restrict you from installing another OS. Though driver and such support has to be done for it, obviously.

Re:yes, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376714)

seriously, if they made it with linux I'd buy it today.

Re:yes, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376932)

Seriously? Really? Are you actually being serious? Like serious serious... Because:
A.1) With the interpretation that you seem to think Linux is able to 'produce' physical devices like a replicator, you must be surrounded by 4 padded walls.
A.2) With the interpretation that you ponder if Microsoft 'made it' with Linux as in 'did it' or 'mated with', you sir are a sicko, not to mention Linux lacks genitalia.
A.3) With the interpretation that you wonder if they would use Linux as it's native OS, you must be a moron.
A.4) With the interpretation that you hypothesize if they would do what alternative A.3 outlines, you must still be a moron.
B) It has not been marketed nor launched yet and is therefore impossible to obtain with or without any Darsek or other non- or acceptable currency.

How much? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376686)

What's it going to cost?

If it weighs in at $1000, I'll pass. $299 and I'll buy three of them. Okay, maybe not, but I'll really want to.

Re:How much? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376830)

This.

At $200 the decision to get one would be easy: Buy one.
At $300 then it might be a tough decision for me: Try first.
At $400 its an easy decision again: Don't buy one.

It doesnt have to be a tablet or netbook killer. The form factor is suitable for more than what a touch-phone can comfortably offer, while tablets are too damn big to be something that I will want to carry around all the time. This booklet form factor looks to me to be just about the largest size that will still comfortably fit into the front pocket of my dockers.

Don't be an early adopter (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376718)

Wait for Courier New.

That's right, because handwriting on screens rules (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376724)

Watching the demo, I just can't understand why Microsoft seems so obsessed with the idea that everybody's going to want to interact with a computer using a pen.

Think about it. Let's say you're collaborating on a project with somebody, and he's done a lot of brainstorming about it. He comes to a meeting with a stack of notebooks where he's written down all his ideas. What's the first thing he says? "Sorry about my handwriting."

Even I apologize for my handwriting, and I have the handwriting of a comic-book letterer -- when I want to. The thing is, writing neatly takes a lot of time. It's much faster to use upper and lower case than block capitals, for starters, and it's faster to use cursive than printing. And even faster than that to just scrawl it out any way you can.

But you know what's even faster than that? Typing on a computer keyboard.

Microsoft first got on this kick with OneNote, its note-taking application, which it seemed to want to market as the killer app for tablet PCs. And by that I mean the first generation of tablet PCs. You know the ones. You didn't buy one. For some reason, Microsoft was pushing really hard for this idea that everybody would be walking around with tablet PCs, scribbling notes into OneNote with pens.

Now, I use OneNote every day. But while I have a nice-sized Wacom tablet sitting right here on my desk, which comes with a very nice, contoured stylus that fits very nicely in my hand, never once have I been inspired to plug the thing in to scrawl off some notes in OneNote. Not when there's a keyboard sitting right in front of me. Not when I know that if I simply type in my thoughts, OneNote won't have to try to OCR my scrawls in order to make the text searchable. Not when I know that storing a bitmap to save a six-word thought is a waste of space.

So in this Courier demo we not only have someone scribbling notes on a notepad -- which conveniently resembles an onscreen Moleskine notebook, because everybody knows people like their computers to model real-life things that are less efficient than computers, even when the computer doesn't much resemble that real-life thing -- but at one point the person draws a box around those notes, taps on it and the box turns into ... a highlighted yellow version of that wobbly, hand-drawn box.

That might be all well and good if I was a bright-eyed fresh college grad like the eager woman in the demo, and my life was accompanied by a wistful accoustic indie-rock soundtrack. But in real life, if I was being jostled back and forth on the noisy subway on my way home and I drew that box and it popped up on my screen looking all fucked-up like I just drew it, the first thing that would cross my mind would be, "God dammit, why is this computer so stupid that it can't tell I was trying to draw a box just now? Why won't it just make a rectangle? Drawing boxes was so much fucking easier when all I had to do is click my mouse button, hold it and drag."

This UI goes beyond a solution looking for a problem. It's a way of actively making it harder for me to get work done with a computer.

It reminds me of all the VRML hype from years back. People were predicting that in the future, we wouldn't type URLs into a Web browser. We'd fire up our Avatars and fly to places on the Web in 3-D graphics. We would walk through virtual libraries, pulling electronic books off 3-D shelves. We'd ride dragons to meeting rooms where we'd chat with other avatars in real time. And all I could think was, "WTF? So we've just invented the Internet, this miraculous thing that puts the world of information right at your fingertips, no matter where you are, so that all you have to do is type a couple things and the information instantly appears on your screen... and you want to impose a 3-D spatial paradigm on it? Instead of calling up information out of thin air, you want to have to hike down the virtual block to get it? You call that progress?"

Same thing with this tablet idea. People are too stupid to use computers, apparently, so you want to use all the power of a computer to enable them to do things like they would if all they had was a stack of paper and a Bic -- because that's what they're supposedly comfortable with.

Some people just have too many bright ideas for their own good.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376806)

While I agree with you, not everybody can type 50 WPM. Microsoft doesn't make products for you and me, they make products for stupid people -- no, really, I think that's their target audience. Why use a stylus? People said the same thing about the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointing) interface, i.e. "Why use a GUI when command line is faster and offers more options". The answer is obvious: because clicking Start, then Shutdown is much easier to remember (and harder to screw up) than typing "shutdown -h -t now".

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (1)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376848)

Well if it includes handwriting recognition I don't think it will be of much concern. I've sampled Microsofts handwriting recognition on their tablet devices that are out now. I am very impressed with its capability. My handwriting is readable, but in no way pretty. It picks it up. I saw someone else write with it. He has a handwriting style that is a weird mixture of standard AND cursive writing and it still picked it up.

If this (potential) future product can do what current products can, handwriting neatness will be of no concern.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377216)

No handwriting recognition system is going to have the speed or accuracy of a keyboard; at least not in the near future. By the time you've got the spare CPU cycles and context-sensitive parsing to do 100% accurate handwriting recognition, you'll be better off using voice recognition, which not only supports the people that can't type, but also functional illiterates... like your average facebook member.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (4, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376854)

I just can't understand why Microsoft seems so obsessed with the idea that everybody's going to want to interact with a computer using a pen.

because I could walk around holding the courier with one hand and writing stuff/accessing it with another even if I'm wearing gloves?

virtual keyboards like the iphone/ipad are not very good for using them on the go in my opinion, and a pen-based interface can work a lot better.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (3, Insightful)

martinX (672498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376950)

I don't think you could. Try it out now. Walking and writing on a paper pad at the same time is going to result in a slow walk and messy writing. An app that has been well designed for the iPad (and other keyboard interfaces) would work with the idea that there is no pen and make it as easy as possible for the user to use them.

As a far-out example, using FCP is a lot easier once you memorise the (thousand or so...) keyboard shortcuts whereas an equivalent app on the iPad wouldn't have you using a virtual keyboard but would make use of the touch and multi-touch features to the best advantage of the user. These are completely different devices to a PC on a desk and so require a developer to, well, Think Different.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (5, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376986)

Wow, where to begin... This looks good:

It reminds me of all the VRML hype from years back. People were predicting that in the future, we wouldn't type URLs into a Web browser. We'd fire up our Avatars and fly to places on the Web in 3-D graphics. We would walk through virtual libraries, pulling electronic books off 3-D shelves. We'd ride dragons to meeting rooms where we'd chat with other avatars in real time. And all I could think was, "WTF? So we've just invented the Internet, this miraculous thing that puts the world of information right at your fingertips, no matter where you are, so that all you have to do is type a couple things and the information instantly appears on your screen... and you want to impose a 3-D spatial paradigm on it? Instead of calling up information out of thin air, you want to have to hike down the virtual block to get it? You call that progress?"

I wonder if you're familiar with Second Life [secondlife.com] ?

And yes, for many, it is considered progress. Or at least it was. I'm not sure how many big corps are still onboard, but there were buzzings of private servers for employee training and the like. Anyway it turns out that while it hasn't applied to the web as a whole, people really did cotton to that idea. Lots of people. Even some important ones.

Same thing with this tablet idea. People are too stupid to use computers, apparently, so you want to use all the power of a computer to enable them to do things like they would if all they had was a stack of paper and a Bic -- because that's what they're supposedly comfortable with.

Taking your finger and pointing it is about as basic as it gets. Using a pen is just an extension of that. Paper made it more portable than cave walls. People aren't all that keen on using keyboards everywhere they go because they're simply not natural. How many of those full-size, fold-able keyboards sold as accessories to cell phones really see any daily use?

I think the device looks like an innovative approach to 'infinite paper', which is basically what the videos bill it out to be. It looks like a huge step beyond what tablets presently mean, and seems to offer it in a better form factor.

Meanwhile your desktop will be right where you last left it, with the keyboard still attached.

I guess I'm not quite sure what you're rambling about, but I'm pretty certain the words you are searching for involve 'kids' and 'off' and 'lawn'.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (2, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377208)

You speak like someone who has heard of 2nd Life but hasn't used it much. The original poster's point is valid: Try to find some information regarding IBM on the Web - type www.ibm.com Now do the same with SL - go, i'll wait until you come back.

OK?

The truth about 2nd life as information medium is encapsulated in your comment "Or at least it was"

Just because someone can see a gimmick is a gimmick doesn't mean that they are involved in protecting their patch of turf.

Ya I'm not seeing this (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377030)

Like the iPad, it seems to me to be a device in search of a market that doesn't exist. I just don't see the need/demand for something like a laptop, but not a laptop.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377038)

I doubt you could fit a keyboard inside that thing, I mean... it's so tiny!

You see, what you whine about is old technology, what you saw, was a presentation made by the marketing crew using a flash animation.

OCR when implemented correctly with good algorithms and combined with a fast cpu can be very efficient, not as fast as writing on a keyboard, but that's a sacrifice you have to make for downsizing. A pen is perfect for touching delicate things and mediating your gestures into fine motor control, hence the longevity of the invention.

What you are saying is; don't try to make one, I didn't like the last one I tried! We all know the best input method is telepathically.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (1)

fryjs (1456943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377044)

Why do you think that the courier is supposed to be used whilst sitting at your desk? I don't know about you, but I frequently grab a notepad, and go to a location that is not my desk to sketch out ideas/concepts/etc. I don't want to be using a keyboard for that, I want exactly the interface that the courier provides: a pen and surface to write on. (Currently I have an iRex, but the extra features of the courier will have me buying one in a heartbeat) Not every computing device must replace your desktop system, there are a myriad of situations where other interfaces are much more appropriate, and a myriad more where it can supplement other devices.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377198)

And if I want to draw a picture? How do I accomplish that with my keyboard?

How about if I want to "do the math" on an equation where I need to go step by step? What then?

I understand what you're saying but the keyboard isn't the end all device for input. It's not even close to covering many things that people would like to do with their computers.

Re:That's right, because handwriting on screens ru (2, Funny)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377218)

Sounds like what you want is a laptop. You should buy one of those instead.

Microsoft or Nintendo (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376742)

Inductive charging is way cool, but the rest of it sounds like just a larger version of the Nintendo DS! Not real innovative, if you know what I mean. Can't somebody simply make a tablet PC with USB ports, so I can plug in external memory, keyboard, mouse, etc.?

Re:Microsoft or Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377004)

They already exist, have for years, and HP just announced a new one, the Slate. Not sure why you're on Slashdot cutting down things other people want when the product you want has existed forever.

Re:Microsoft or Nintendo (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377096)

Not sure why you're on Slashdot cutting down things other people want when the product you want has existed forever. Umm... 'cause I'm still pissed off that I can't afford it? I didn't say nobody would want this, I just said it sounded to me like a larger version of a DSi... (Nintendo themselves are coming out with a larger DSi, the DSi XL March 28) There are not a lot of "innovative" ideas in this thing. Can I quick-charge this device on my induction cooktop [theinductionsite.com] ?

This is very cool. (2, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376760)

I think this device looks very cool, and it solves the iPad/iPod Touch conundrum. The iPad has a nice screen for reading, but you actually read the ipod touch because it fits in your pocket. If I could have the screen of an iPad and put it in my pocket you've got a killer app there.

And before your criticize the "put in your pocket" thing, I get that as the killer feature the ipod touch has from two moms who both use their ipods constantly. The ipad is not so convenient for taking a load of laundry out to the laundry room and checking facebook status updates.

Re:This is very cool. (0, Flamebait)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376946)

If I could have the screen of an iPad and put it in my pocket

a) Get a bigger pocket.
b) Get a pocket that is bigger on the inside than on the outside (see Tardis [wikipedia.org] ).
c) Get a brain and realize the idiocy of your statement.

Which will it be?

M$, but I admit it's a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376794)

Nintendo had.

Where's the beef?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376860)

The video is entirely CGI (fake) and reveals nothing more than what M$ already revealed months ago. Yet it still presents only about 25% of what's needed for a complete, viable UI.

Even the narrator sounds computer generated, due to her lisp. If you really want to communicate, don't make people strain to undertstand through a lisp.

Re:Where's the beef?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31376900)

If you really want to communicate, don't make people strain to undertstand through a lisp.

In computing, a lisp is functional, one day it may even help you to understand.

I'm Wary of Microsoft. (1, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376912)

It looks like an nifty device, I will grant that. Nonetheless, I grow wary of buying anything from Microsoft these days. It seems like that company has become absolute artists at nickel and diming their customers. For instance, on the first Xbox, you could save guest profiles and, as long as one housemate had an Xbox Live membership, you could host those guests in games. Out comes the 360 and now you can no longer save guest profiles. You have to reset yours settings every damn login if you piggyback on your roomate's account. Then there are their operating systems. Granted, Windows 7 seems to have turned out alright. But they rushed Vista so bad they FUBARed the whole stupid thing and had to rerelease (and charge money for) an entire new OS to fix their screw ups. Again, they profit at the expense of their consumers. Their PC games (Games for Windows or whatever that PR tag is on PC game boxes now) have increasingly pain in the ass DRM. I don't even bother to buy the stupid things anymore because it is easier just to get a hack copy from the internet complete with DRM circumvention kits.

As much as I love to blame all of my tech problems on Gates' legacy, I will admit that Microsoft turns out some top quality products from time to time. Their ergonomic keyboards are fantastic. This tablet looks impressive. I just find it hard to give my money to a company that is so skilled at financially raping their consumer base. Sorry MS, good products or not, you've burned my trust one too many times.

Re:I'm Wary of Microsoft. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377002)

you gotta be kidding with the "profit at expense of their consumers"

cause I know a company that will charge you for features already included but hidden(bluetooth support, fm radio), or release new products that are supposedly and update but just with minor updates (all ipod line), and even tell their customers why they dont need basic stuff, and why does who use it are idiots (flash, multitasking).

Re:I'm Wary of Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377082)

they profit at the expense of their consumers

Doesn't everybody? Maybe I missed something in ECON-101 but I thought that was the point of capitalism.

NICE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377098)

Can't wait to see this on the market... Might postpone all purchases in wait for it...

Two screens not better than one. (2, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377102)

Breaking a screen into two smaller ones and sticking a giant hinge/bezel in the middle isn't an advantage.

Think about watching video on this. You have half the screen and turned sideways.

Even reading a regular text ebook. Two screens aren't an advantage, they are a hindrance.

Now it might be good for a few things where you can flick it between the two small screens, BUT you could easily do the same thing on one bigger screen by creating a software split between the halves.

Now MS may have some good SW ideas, I'll wait until they exist outside of a cartoon to comment on those, but I think they would be better delivered on a one screen device.

What does "prototype" mean here? (1)

joh (27088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377126)

I would say "prototype" usually means some working hard- and software, a real device. Not in mass production or finally nailed down, but something that really exists and can be touched and basically works.

So, are there pictures of that device? I have seen nothing than renderings and UI mockups yet and people talking of a "prototype" when there is just a "concept" drive me crazy.

And I also don't get it when people talk about "multi-touch" and seem to mean "you can touch and swipe and gesture everywhere and everywhere every touch and swipe and gesture does something different. Isn't it great?". No! It isn't!

with credentials like those... (4, Funny)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377132)

Wow, with the Windows-experience wizard and the designers of Xbox and Zune on board, what could possibly go wrong?

What's wrong with you people?!?!?! (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377138)

This story was posted over an hour ago, and no one has made a joke yet about it being just as fast as a Courier POTS modem from US Robotics.... Man, I'm losing my faith in geek-kind.

Also, you kids get off my lawn!

iPhone-esque (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377142)

iPhone-esque? I think people may be seeing things where there really is nothing. Hundreds of applications have had home buttons. Plenty of them long before apple too i'm sure. Fairly stupid to mention iphone/apple here.

While it's still just vaporware at this point . . (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377228)

There certainly is more innovation in the concept than in the iPad -- by a fairly large margin. That doesn't necessarily mean it would be more useful or useable -- but it's enough that iIm very interested to hear more about it. The leaked video from a few months ago was really quite interesting, the only thing we need now is actual details on the operating system, spec, etc. As a concept it's great, but as a reality it might fall short.

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