Microsoft kills Courier tablet project

Microsoft confirmed it has canceled further development and production on its tablet project, codenamed Courier, which industry watchers speculated could help drive down costs of Apple’s popular iPad.

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“At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It’s in Microsoft’s DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity,” said Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of communications at Microsoft, in a statement. “The ‘Courier’ project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings.”

According to published reports from Gizmodo, Microsoft stopped production its planned double-screen tablet that had some industry watchers excited about its potential to increase competition in the tablet market. Courier, along with the HP Slate running Windows 7, the Dell Streak running Google’s Android OS and Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1, had industry watchers projecting that competitive offerings would bring down the cost of Apple’s iPad.

Expected in the second half of this year, Courier was reportedly formatted in the shape of a book with two 7-inch screens, a built-in camera and Wi-Fi, according to published reports. The device also was said to support a variety of user inputs such as touching, handwriting and drawing.

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