The saddest thing about tablets today


Allow me to preface by admitting that I have owned five tablets in the past two years; two of which had built-in stylus capabilities (not the capacitive kind). And that I started this blog partially because I could not contain my grief over the death of the dream pen-and-touch experience, the MS Courier. Approximately three years later, MSFT does the very thing that led to the Courier’s death, manufacturing hardware in-house, the MS Surface.

The Courier Concept

I am committed to the pen and touch experience. I strongly believe that it should be what drives our innovation, now that touch is where it is. I cannot fathom, why it has been so difficult for industry to answer this very serious need.

It has been two months since I got a Surface Pro and I am still dreaming of the Courier. Despite having Windows 8 on a Lenovo X220 Tablet the moment it came out; having most the capabilities of the Surface Pro and a better keyboard and track-pad experience, I purchased a Surface because I believed that MSFT would finally make my pen-and-touch dreams come true.

The dream to have a seamless pen and touch experience. The freedom to do away with paper almost completely, thanks to OneNote and the pen capabilities built-in to Office. Come to find, the experience is really, no better then on my Lenovo.

The Samsung Galaxy Note has attempted to address this with their suite of apps built-in to their flavor of Android, but the screen is not big enough for proper note-taking and too big for someone of my size (5’1″) to hold comfortably as a touchscreen.

Which brings me to this ongoing struggle I (and many I know) have with technology and industry today; that there are too many apps trying to address a solved problem and not enough innovators trying to tackle the ones staring us in the face. Please, industry, create a seamless pen-and-touch system. Save companies money, paper, time, and frustration.


RIP Courier


Recently, the death of the Courier was announced. A Microsoft executive thought that the iPad was too powerful a device to challenge in the tablet market so he killed the Courier. What he did not realize was that the Courier and the iPad are 2 completely different devices. The iPad is a product of consumption; watching videos, playing games, flipping through photos, web browsing, etc. The Courier was all about creation; sketching, taking notes, keeping multiple journals, collaborating with others, etc.

Now it seems that there is a new device, the KNO, which is similar to the Courier with it’s dual-screen design but seems to defy the definition of a tablet as so many others have lacking a stylus. It shows promise the iPad does not for data generation but nothing will be as innovative as the Courier. There is now a dark void where my faith in Microsoft was.