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First look at Courier

I never thought I'd see the day when Microsoft would produce something sexy, but dang:

Courier: First Details of Microsoft's Secret Tablet (Gizmodo)

I could see a day in the not-too-distant future where it is fairly standard for people to have sort of a Goldilocks-and-the-Three-Bears computing array. A smartphone, a folio-sized collaborative and convergent media device like this (somewhere between netbook, e-reader, and PIM), and then their full-sized workhorse machine. Small, medium, and large, depending on the task. Or maybe things will eventually get powerful enough that the convergent machine will be the main machine. Who knows?

In any case, this looks quite appealing. I like the idea of an e-reader, but it feels too limited ... maybe I'm porting Alton Brown's attitude about no unitaskers in the kitchen, but if I'm going to shell out money for a device and create electronic waste by doing so, I feel that it needs to do more than one thing. I require versatility, rather than carting around a lot of different single-purpose devices.

This looks like it has potential.

Thanks to my sweetie for guiding me to it.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
No no no no. I refuse to be seduced by a Microsoft product.
Apple hurry up!

I refuse to look at the awesome interface and the delicious touch screens.

Oct. 2nd, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
Hee! I look forward to seeing Apple's device as well. A lot of interesting things are happening in this computing area at the moment.
Oct. 1st, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
That's pretty cool, and an interesting fresh approach.

The most compelling argument I've heard for device convergence, though, argues that we'll finally get everybody carrying just a smartphone-sized device when:

1: workhorse processor speeds can be on the device
2. file storage moves to reliable, access-anywhere cloud computing
3. a universal standard for docking is adopted
4: docking stations are cheap and plentiful

We might get around (1) if the docks are well-thought out enough, with some standardized processor architecture so that the device-native chip could stay small and lean. (2) is easy. I think (3) is the sticking point ... we'll waste at least ten years on competing standards, if not twenty.

By the way, will you have your Palm by the 24th? If not, I'd love to bend your ear about it, since I've just spent the past week testing our app for it and have lots of thoughts on it now.
Oct. 2nd, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
I believe there will always be a market for:

1) Screens larger than those on smartphones, and I don't mean just for docked desktop devices. I never liked reading books on my Zire.
2) Close-to-full-size keyboards. I have a neat collapsible one for my Zire that I still use and that I won't give up until there's something comparable for the Pre. Even though it's swell that it has a real thumb keyboard, I'm a fast typist and I don't like losing speed for lack of a decently-sized keyboard.

E-ink may help solve problem #1 at some point - being able to fold a flexible screen like a piece of paper would be nifty (they did this in the pilot for Caprica). 2 is easy enough to solve, though the less cumbersome, the better.

I ... I honestly don't know if I'll have it by the 24th or not. Our contract expires 10/4, so we're free agents at that point, but ... I just learned two days ago that there's evidence suggesting a 16 GB version at the first of the year. From what's been reported, that version is likely to include a bit of very minor hardware polishing as well, so ... I'm on the fence. I really wanted 16 MB from the get-go, so that's a heavy incentive for me to wait just a bit longer, but I'm not the only one involved in this decision - David wants one, too. :) We'll see.

Bend away, regardless. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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