History of the Microsoft Courier is entertaining but largely irrelevant

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.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Rikikrik

    This is a lot of nonsense. Courier might not have been for everybody or a regular consumer in need of an Ipad. But I am sure that this would have been very succesfull in the creative industry (modelling, publishing, interior, home and gardening design etc). And maybe it even could be expanded to the architectural community in which desigh also plays a key role. That’s why the comparison with an Ipad is not justified. Courier was/is a very cool product. Microsoft has to realize that they sometimes make cool technology that might not be for the wider public, but for certain industry groups or professionals. Recently Microsoft showed of 3D images designs of buildings and the manipulation and interactivity capabilities of these designs between WP, Windows tablets and a big table screen. This technology is super and especially of importance to builders, architects, interior designers, but maybe even of importance to the carindusstry (cardesigners) or furniture designers. These are what I would call specialty products for professionals or developers in different industry categories. Microsoft should realize that their technology has much potential. It’s encouraging to see that they finally recognized that Kinect is not only to play games, but can also be used in hospitals (not having to use a computer while perrforming surgery, or to perform a surgery with 3D images of the inside body), for presentations in schools, at work etc. Microsoftr should think about the usability of their products for different purposes even before they are finished developing it.    

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      You have many valid points. My main point is that the rhetoric that is prevalent on the blogs is that Microsoft messed up and would have had a head start on the Ipad if they had released Courier earlier.

      I simply disagree. 

      Your point seems to be that it’s apples and oranges and Courier could have been used for a different niche.

      I don’t necessarily disagree. Maybe.