Microsoft CourierWhile the world and his wife seems obsessed with the Apple Tablet, which is still, let’s remember just a rumour at this point, Microsoft’s Courier tablet looks increasingly impressive. Read on to find out about the amazing interface of Microsoft’s magic tablet…

If you’re used to the fairly convention files and folders structure of Windows (even the shiny new Windows 7), Microsoft Courier looks like it could blow your mind.

The heart of Microsoft Courier’s UI is the rather snazzily named Infinite Journal. It’s a notebook which catalogues your writing, drawings, photos and multimedia. It is actually structured with pages and each item has a time stamp and is geotagged.

There are also options to add your own custom cover to the Infinite Journal and the ability to search not just by time, location, file name and tags but via handwriting recognition.

There is also a view called Smart Agenda which summarises the content in your Infinite Journal showing appointments, emails, to-do lists, weather and messages from friends in one place.

In this marvelous multi-touch world we live in gestures are vital and Microsoft Courier has them. A one-finger tap and hold will clip and copy content, a flick vertically scrolls, two fingers gestures open and close apps. Up or down opens apps while swiping across the screen and off closes them. You can also pinch to zoom.

Microsoft Courier also seems to have a new browser which uses an index-card style view to allow you flip through your previously visited sites. It’ll also allow you to clip content from sites and immediately send it to your Infinite Journal.

The Courier’s main file browser is quite different too. It shows a visual catalogue of all journals, applications and books and subscriptions on the device. That final category suggest Microsoft is planning to market the Courier as an ebook reader too.

The “cloud” is also going to be a bit part of the Microsoft Courier experience. It’ll allow collaborators to leave comments on shared portions of your journal. They’ll appear instantly and notifications will pop up in the Smart Agenda.

You’ll also be able to access your journal from any web browser suggesting a Mobile Me style cloud service will come with the Microsoft Courier.

Finally there’s two bits of interesting hardware built into the Courier. The pen which comes with the device is not simply a stylus as we’d first thought. There are two buttons, an eraser and a twisting mechanism to change its function built in to the pen. The top button is an undo button meaning you don’t need to flip the pen to erase things.

The camera is allows you to crop the picture in the viewfinder before you take the shot which is activated by tapping the screen. The camera has a dedicated hardware button.

The Apple Tablet may be exciting us in theory but the Microsoft Courier already looks amazing in practice. Hurry up and release it already Microsoft.

TBA | £TBA | Microsoft (via Gizmodo)

  • Tim Acheson

    This is a useful review of the product, thanks!

  • Nick

    Thanks for gathering the information guys! I’m getting really excited for this release! (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  • CJ84

    Release!? What release!? It’s still just a rumour but a good one none the less. We’d all like to think that Microsoft has come up with something wonderful but let’s face it past experiences suggest we shouldn’t get our hopes up!!

  • Wil C

    I am hoping for this more than a new Big Wheel for Christmas! However, I have to agree with CJ84; not only is this extreme vaporware, but based on Microsoft’s track record they can screw up anything right up to, and including, the actual release date. The really good thing is that the idea is out there, and there’s a good chance some smart company is already running with it. I think I might even give up my Moleskine eventually for something like the Courier. Well, that might be a bit much. How about every other day, and on vacations, and trips to the mountains, and…

    • Ben Sillis

      I’m in two minds. On the one hand, Microsoft’s track record with hardware isn’t great. And the less said about Windows Mobile the better. But then they come along and do something like the Zune HD which makes you think “hang on”. I’m inclined to give MS the benefit of the doubt for once.

  • Chuck S

    Well, it didn’t happen…wonder why? “HP Slate” was announced. Not the same.

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