Microsoft is developing its Courier tablet/e-book device, which is designed to be a “digital journal” — lightweight, portable, and about 5×7 when closed (it has a duo screen). More than just an e-reader device, it’s designed to go head to head against Apple’s iPad. It will apparently do a lot of nifty stuff, including drawing and writing with built-in handwriting recognition, has a built-in camera (something the iPad doesn’t have), and a headphone jack for media playback.
Jason Mick from DailyTech writes:
Ultimately, the iPad and the Courier are both very alike and very different. Both share the same challenges — a public that for years has been lukewarm to tablet devices and the challenge of selling an eye strain-inducing LCD device as an eBook reader. At the same time, both devices may be able to carve out a niche for themselves by their different perks in addition to being an eBook reader. In Apple’s case it’s the iPad’s app library, which includes the ability to run higher resolution apps. In Microsoft’s case it’s the journal functionality of the device, which seems well suited for the blog-loving busy current internet population.
They’re talking about a launch date of Q3/Q4 of this year (which really means it will most likely launch in Q1/Q2 of next year, with bugs).
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what develops…