Microsoft disbands experimental Pioneer Studios

Pioneer Studios, an experimental group within Microsoft tasked with designing and incubating novel “consumer experiences,” has been closed down.

The team disbanded and redistributed, and its offices vacated.

The group’s most famous project was the Courier tablet concept, a twin-screen folding tablet designed for note-taking and Web browsing.

The team was created at the behest of J Allard, the executive whose 1990s memo alerted Microsoft to the importance of the Internet and caused the company to rapidly switch direction and embrace the internet.

The design team that produced the Metro interface concept currently used in Windows Phone, and likely to be a feature of Windows 8, is said to be moving to Redmond so that it can work more closely with other parts of the company.

Stay tuned for more news…