Recently there have been stories about how Microsoft screwed up because they killed their early tablet concept the Courier.
You can read the stories from Jay Greene here and here.
They are interesting stories that detail a little bit of everything about how things work at big companies like Microsoft.
A little politics, a little intrigue, a little betrayal etc etc.
However, I think these stories miss the bigger picture. Even with a fully fledged Courier, the Ipad would still be the winner today. No question.
People who have Ipads know that it’s more than just a standard tablet. It’s smooth, it’s quick, it starts up fast, has tons of battery life etc etc
These are things that we can be pretty sure Microsoft would not have come up with in a final version of the Courier.
Who believes the Courier would have had battery life like the Ipad? Or that the OS would have booted up as fast as an Ipad? Or that the OS would have been as stable as IOS?
Based on what we know about these two companies, it’s pretty safe to say that the comparison between the two companies would have been downright embarrassing.
This is moot. Apple would have won the battle anyway and Microsoft ironically would have been worse off as Windows 8 would probably have just been Windows 7 +.
Things have indeed worked out for the best. Microsoft have a grand sweeping and comprehensive vision. It makes sense and they need to execute.
The Courier is a nice historical story but ultimately, it wouldn’t have mattered.