Unlike every tablet that looks like every other tablet that looks like an iPad, Microsoft's Courier was bold, imaginative and different. Of course, it got killed and was never released. But the spirit is still alive! The Courier's dual pane versatility lives on with Tapose.
Tablets today are thought to be made in one of two ways: Upsizing a smartphone or downsizing a laptop. Many of these new tablets are decent, but both methods render something less than the perfect tablet.
We've seen slides and videos of Microsoft's Courier booklet in action, but nothing has quite explained how all of these things actually work. This document explains Courier's interface, gestures and features more in-depth than ever before.
Gestures: The basic finger gestures are exactly what you would expect. A one-finger tap-and-hold clips content, one-finger flicks scroll vertically and turn pages. Two-finger gestures open and close apps: Up or down opens an app, while a swipe offscreen closes it. Flicking toward the other screen with two fingers…
More details on Courier, courtesy of Mary Jo Foley: Most interestingly, her sources say it runs Windows 7 underneath, the same way the Surface runs on top of Vista, and that Microsoft will actually make the tablet hardware.
Microsoft's Courier booklet was surprising, mostly because it was so far outside of what everybody now expects from a tablet. This internal video shows how Microsoft thinks we'll use Courier.