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Was the Courier Project really killed off or did it transform into the Surface, OneNote and Windows 8?

Six years ago before the Apple iPad there was rumor of a 7 inch dual screen tablet from Microsoft, the Courier project, two years later in 2010 that project was killed, but was it really killed?

It was rumored to be a device that supported multitouch gestures as well as a stylus and came with special applications for note taking and tight integration with the cloud. Does any of this sound familiar?

It is very interesting to see how the idea and mockups of the Courier transformed into the Surface Pro and the tablet computing flood that followed the accusations of vaporware. While the iPad made it to production and the Courier did not, the Surface Pro 3 lives up to Microsoft promise of the Courier in ways that the iPad has yet to do.

Four years ago I wrote a blog post expressing my disappointment when I heard that the Courier Project was killed, today I manage a fleet of Surface Pro 3 devices that run AutoCad, Revit and provide the note taking and entertainment features todays users have come to expect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=En9NaKqtwlE

Surface Pro 3 – They finally got it right

I just finished a report in Word and added charts from Excel (with a mouse attached, what a concept), connected to the office via VPN, placed the file on a network share, downloaded a PDF file, annotated that file using the pen and then attached it to an email while talking to my sister on Skype in split screen and sitting pool side. Priceless!

Microsoft is listening and reacting to user feedback (refreshing), the kick stand that reclines all the way back, the bigger screen, thinner, lighter and keyboard they tilts up and can still be used as a cover, man this is fantastic!

For the people who negatively reviewed this device but didn’t really provide any reason, I say nice try iCrap fans, you can’t even come up with one good reason that the iPad is better and don’t even start with the millions of apps crap, there are decades worth of quality applications that one can install on this “real computer” and all the peripherals that I have already invested in work (USB keys, printers, monitors, etc.).

 

Most tablets on the market are just companion devices that people carry along with or instead of their main computer and then struggle to get the content off and onto their main computer, this is a main computer replacement with the size and the cost of most companion devices. You can take it with you, take pictures or video while out and about, come home and connect your monitor and other peripherals and keep working.

This is more than just a happy customer raving, this is someone who is thankful to be free of the restrictive iCan’t and Android world in which you had to find workarounds for everything that you used to be able to do if you wanted a tablet.

Bravo Microsoft, well done!