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  • Microsoft, HP Cancel Tablet Projects


    With the release of the iPad WiFi+3G today, the Apple tablet juggernaut continues to roll on... and over its competitors, apparently. Microsoft finally admitted it's been working on a tablet - the Courier device that's been talked about for months - only to announce that it'll never see the light of day. At the same time, information has emerged that Hewlett-Packard is killing the HP Slate in its cradle.

    The courier was first revealed by Gizmodo last year. Instead of being tablet-shaped, the Courier had a "booklet" form factor, with two high-res touchscreens connected by a hinge. Rather than just a multitouch interface, the Courier incorporated a stylus to allow handwriting and drawing on the tablet as well. Later leaks included the news that the device would be based on the same operating system as the Zune HD. The device was buried deep in Microsoft's skunkworks, though, and no official confirmation was ever made of the project. Until yesterday, that is: Microsoft announced, and killed, Project Courier in a single press release. According to Frank Shaw, Microsoft's VP of corporate communications, Courier "technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time."

    At almost exactly the same moment, TechCrunch reported on news out of Palo Alto that Hewlett-Packard was killing its own tablet project. The HP Slate was much more high-profile than the Courier, even being featured by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at this year's CES show. Reportedly, the Slate was powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, had a 8.9" screen with 1024 by 600 pixels and capable of 1080p HD videos, and a USB 2.0 port and SD card reader. According to this report, HP is focusing on WebOS development after its acquisition of Palm this week.

    The departure of the two tech heavyweights from the field leaves Apple in a dominant position, with no one but Google - whose Android-based tablet is expected later this year - likely to be able to mount a serious challenge. Fusion Garage continues to market their JooJoo tablet (expanding internationally, and with a 3G model promised within three months) but is a much smaller competitor.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft, HP Cancel Tablet Projects started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      This is honestly depressing. Throws a wrench in the whole "competition = advancement" thing.
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      So, are we saying that the rumors of a Microsoft Tablet, and rumors of an HP Slate have been killed off then?
    1. Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar
      Paul Daniel Ash -
      Quote Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
      So, are we saying that the rumors of a Microsoft Tablet, and rumors of an HP Slate have been killed off then?
      The Courier was mostly vapor, but the Slate was looking pretty real just a few weeks ago: HP Slate Specs, Prices Revealed? - PCWorld
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      Quote Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
      So, are we saying that the rumors of a Microsoft Tablet, and rumors of an HP Slate have been killed off then?
      No, it's just that the HP slate is probably going to run WebOS now, to be more of an iPad competitor, which is what HP wanted
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ty22 View Post
      No, it's just that the HP slate is probably going to run WebOS now, to be more of an iPad competitor, which is what HP wanted
      Translation...
      "No, the rumors are not going to be killed off."
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      This is honestly depressing. Throws a wrench in the whole "competition = advancement" thing.
      This is actually done all the time. Most companies have research groups that work on hundreds of ideas and sometimes pick certain things from their research projects to utilize in something that is actually tangible.

      For instance this "Courier device" lead to features that will be used in Windows Phone 7 and the Zune software. Just because they aren't going ahead with hardware doesn't mean some of the ideas didn't get picked up for use elsewhere. Apple does this as well, there are many many things they put in the pipeline but never actually produce. The big difference is Apple is secretive and quiet about it and you only hear about things they ultimately produce.

      Of course it doesn't stop the morons who produce speculative rumors but that is something else entirely.
    1. iBwizzle's Avatar
      iBwizzle -
      Please don't let me down Notion Ink Adam... 
    1. davesnothere11's Avatar
      davesnothere11 -
      With HP recently squiring Palm I'd wafer it's an indication they are going to follow Apple strategy of developing a mobile phone and evolving it into a tablet. I hope they do it right cause I've enjoyed my HP products.

      Gotta love iPhone spell check ;(
    1. juggz143's Avatar
      juggz143 -
      D@mnit I was lookin forward to my slate with a complete OS as opposed to a mobile OS. Guess I'll be tossing apple a couple more hundred to get an ipad and jailbreak pronto.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      im sure we will see these again in the future (improved of course)
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      This is definitely all related to the Palm acquisition in regards to the HP tablet.

      It's interesting to say the least that they killed it off, but the lack of fanfaire about devices like the Archos 9 tablet likely made HP hold off on releasing the device. That together with the lack of Tegra 2 availability (which is what the tablets should be using) makes a device with an Atom processor feel sluggish and borderline unusable.

      The Courier was something people should have never gotten their hopes up about. There were never any videos of an actual device, or even photo leaks of the device. While it was a great device in theory, there just wasn't the technology to realistically make it happen.

      Here's to hoping that webOS will scale up to tablet style devices and be as open to new tweaks as the Palm line is currently.
    1. carolinamic's Avatar
      carolinamic -
      I wouldn't write hp off yet. What else would you put webos on besides a phone, netbook, or tablet.
    1. stfudvs's Avatar
      stfudvs -
      garbage
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      I bet steve is like yeah i won lol
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      I believe HP killed off the slate after it acquired Palm. They may just make a WebOS slate. That would be way better.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      wow lame haha i was realy excited for these even though i have an ipad haha
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      The HP Slate looked sick, unsmiley
    1. SquareWheel's Avatar
      SquareWheel -
      Microsoft finally admitted it's been working on a tablet - the Courier device that's been talked about for months - only to announce that it'll never see the light of day.
      You mean the tablet concept Microsoft announced ages before the iPad announcement, the one they said was purely a concept and would probably never turn into an actual product? Stop it with this pseudo-journalism.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Looks like Steve Jobs is throwing a party. lol. Now, we need the WePad!
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Other reports mention that HP did not like how Windows 7 was sluggish. Even with an overlay UI it is still a desktop OS built for mice and keyboards.

      I bet now they bought Palm they will wipe it and use the same design but have it with WebOS in it.