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.
There've been questions as to whether Courier is a software platform—meaning another manufacturer would make the actual hardware—or whether Microsoft will pull a Zune/Xbox 360. Mary Jo's sources say it's the latter (which makes sense, given that it's supposedly J. Allard's baby). But, Courier did actually start life as a "as a software idea on how one would really build OneNote from scratch if you could for the Tablet form factor. That then morphed into building a tablet."
So far, they're aiming for a "mid-2010" delivery, since it's further along than a Microsoft Research project, but not quite in the commercial pipe yet. Which puts it right in the Apple tablet's purported path. Oh, 2010 is going to rock. [ZDNet]