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New MS Courier leak details multi-touch interface

updated 01:35 pm EST, Wed November 4, 2009

Courier gestures, UI explained

A new leak of internal documentation has provided a deeper explanation of the Microsoft Courier. The dual-screen tablet prototype has a fundamentally simple interface with two-finger multi-touch gestures: besides usual navigation, it would let users tap-and-hold to clip a photo or other object and a two-finger swipe left or right to move that object to the opposite page. The pen also has two buttons and an "eraser" to both switch between drawing styles as well as to remove recent changes.

The Gizmodo tips also elaborate on the concept of the Infinite Journal, which compiles all the clips, notes and other information in the Courier. It centers on a Smart Agenda that provides a calendar overview, messages and data like weather. Microsoft would have users navigate quickly between pages through a Cover Flow-like 3D page view with a timeline; the web browser would have a similar metaphor. A separate Library section would handle both apps and media in a central bookshelf location and implies that e-book reading would play a significant role.

Courier has been characterized as a prototype concept that, if it reaches a more definitive stage, may undergo significant changes. It's widely considered a test vehicle for Microsoft's future touch interface concepts and a possible preemptive response to a possible Apple tablet.

by MacNN Staff



  1. BMWTwisty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Double the pages, double the cost

    I'm not sure about this one. You've basically got two screens operating simultaneously and independently. That's gotta cost some electrons. Might be a nice "concept" but I don't fully appreciate whatever the application is intended. This is a Ballmer-esque question, but why do we need two handheld devices at the same time?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Double

    Yeah, the next thing you know people will be wanting to have two monitors hooked up to their computers or something.

  1. JordanX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interesting Design

    I'm not sold on the idea of a double sided eReader. With the size, weight, and electronics that you have to carry around to support it, why not just carry the book. The reason why the eReader from B&N (Nook) is attractive is because of the size. The MS Courier looks useful, but not as an eReader.


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