With the launch of a large amount of tablets imminent, there seems to be little gap for many new comers, as the markets between ereaders and netbooks become blurred. However Microsofts latest creation seems to be very much on the ball, which is a nice change from them. The Courier tablet seems to be a well thoughtout product that ticks a lot of boxes. I’ll go through some of the features that I have either seen it do, or believe it will be able to do.
Used as a Diary – One of the obvious uses for this dual screen tablet is to be used as a personal diary, to collect thought and ideas together. Watch teenage girls to see if this feature is going to be useful.
A similar feature is the use as a scrapbook, where you can collect ideas together and share ideas with partners. This will be attractive to designers and artists who will be inspired by the clever and intuitive controls that make taking notes and ideas pleasurable.
These are the features that Microsoft seem to be pushing.
Some of the other features that would make this device a truely must have will include basic audio/visual software which is a bit nicer and fingerfriendly to use than just sticking MediaPlayer on it. I have been impressed with the software from Zune and Windows Mobile 7 Series and this would work well on one of the screens.
Getting the WM7S software approach on the device will also open up the device to be used with games, which makes it in direct competition with the Nintendo Wii. This does raise the question about whether this device could also be used as Microsoft’s mobile gaming platform that they lack.
The obvious features left to be said include using this device as an ebook reader and quick web browser. The main feature that Microsoft must get right however is ensuring that the device can get software and files without being synced to a computer, either via an app store or similar website. This will allow people to use it as a stand alone device, unlike the iPad which still needs a computer.
Time will tell if this will be successful, but I do worry if the “late 2010” release date will come too late, or will it hit just right as tablets are hitting the mass population in big numbers.
This device has much to offer and we shall see how it is received.
UPDATE: Microsoft has now pulled the plug on this device. What a real shame, but lets hope they have something even more spectacular in the works!