Arguably, one of the hottest buzz-worthy gadgets slowing leaking into online neighborhoods is a product by Microsoft that will supposedly bridge the gap between phone and the netbook better than the Apple iPad. Part smartphone, part tablet-pc, the Microsoft Courier, if the drone is to be believed, will be the biggest thing since the silicon wafer.
Okay, maybe not that big, but to tech junkies, this could be a huge deal.
Inside the Diminutive Beast
There’s not much published about Microsoft Courier’s main hardware specs yet. What’s known so far is that it will have two 7-inch screens and is based on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor. The screens will have multi-touch capabilities, allowing the user to pinch, poke and user finger gestures.
The Tegra 2 uses a lot less power that the Atom processor and promises to do full HD with HDMI out. Unlike the iPad, the Courier will have a camera attached to the back as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. One exciting option being touted is an inductive charging pad.
At this point, it doesn’t look like the Courier will run Windows 7. According to PCWorld, the operating system will be based on CE but, like Apple’s iPad, it may end up running Microsoft’s new version of their smartphone software, Windows Mobile 7.
Using the Courier
How the Courier will be used will be largely dependent on the apps that will run it. There will almost certainly be an App Store similar to the iPhone and iPad. Some theoretical uses could include:
eReader (casual reader and school textbook)
Infinite Journal (similar to Microsoft OneNote
Music Player (Microsoft Zune-esque)
According to a post on Engadget, The Microsoft Courier is scheduled to launch late Q3 / early Q4. Typical for new hardware/software releases, Microsoft will probably delay. Best guess is that it will be ready for the holiday shopping season. CKB
Although the Courier is still under wraps and in conjecture mode, the vibe around the industry is pretty positive. Microsoft’s sleek and portable multi-touchscreen device promises to dazzle us with the possibility of redefining what it means to combine many devices into one. With devices already on the market such as the iPad and ones slated for launch in the near future, the competition is stiff. Will the war be won by Microsoft, Apple or another company?
The answer to that will probably lie in the pocket-books of the millions of users who are frothing at the mouth to acquire the latest and greatest gadget.