By Harry McCracken
Gizmodo is reporting on what it says is Microsoft’s prototype for a new sort of tablet computer–one with dual screens bound up like a book, and an interface that involves both multi-touch (like an iPhone) and a stylus (like a Tablet PC). It’s supposedly code-named Courier, and Gizmodo has a video walkthrough–which is done in animation, so this could be a concept rather than a product that’ll ever be available for sale. Here’s a still image:
Nobody’s going to look at Gizmodo’s video and come away saying “Gee, that looks like a boring, me-too product.” I do remain skeptical about products based on the notion that people want to use styluses to input handwritten text that won’t be converted into accurate, editable ASCII into a computing device. That was the notion behind the Tablet PCs which Microsoft unveiled with absurd pomp and circumstance back in 2001–the company said that most notebooks would be tablets within a few years. I thought that tablets were unsatisfactory technology in search of real-world problems back in 2001, and wasn’t the least bit surprised when they didn’t go much of anywhere.
[This post is excerpted with Harry’s permission from his Technologizer blog.]