Like Tapose, which made its debut on the iPad yesterday, Paper is a place to store ideas. But unlike the former — which is backed by J. Allard, the latter is more sketchbook than scrapbook, and comes from a group of individuals — FiftyThree, Inc. — who once worked on the now-defunct Courier project.
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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.
CNET is delving further into the death of the Microsoft Courier, looking at the differences between Steven Sinoksky and J Allard, who ran the Windows 8 and Courier projects respectively. They say that Sinofsky's business-minded pragmatism and Windows 7 salvage job ultimately swayed Ballmer to follow his vision.
Microsoft has finally gone and offed Pioneer Studios, the operation that was behind the now dead, and still awesome, Courier tablet. The studio was the baby of J Allard, who broke up with Microsoft a year ago, and helped develop consumer electronics and experiences with products like Windows Phone 7, Xbox, Zune and the absolute flop that was the Kin.
Few e-readers are as intimate as this prototype from Nicholas Chen. Look how they communicate in that video! The only caveat it's backed by Microsoft Research. We all know what happened the last time they teased something like this.
When Microsoft killed Courier dead, they promised that "it will be evaluated for use in future offerings". One of those innovations appears to have been the iBooks-like "virtual page turn", which Microsoft applied to patent in January of 2009.
Microsoft may have cancelled their lovable Courier project, but Sony's patent application for a dual-screened "Electronic Book With Enhanced Features" may pick up where Microsoft left off.