One of the more creative visions of the direction tablet computing could take is no more, as Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on its Courier concept. The two-screen tablet, which folded like a book and combined both finger-touch and stylus controls, was never publicly announced by Microsoft as a real product. Gizmodo first broke the news of the Courier's existence as a concept, and the blog has now had to cover its discontinued state with a quote from Microsoft Corporate VP of Communications Frank Shaw:
At any given time, we're looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It's in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.
So, why did Microsoft decide the Courier wasn't worth pursuing? Some feel it was the strong launch of the iPad, though that doesn't make a lot of sense — the Courier certainly distinguishes itself just at a glance, and garnered a lot of excited press. We imagine the answer is closer to what Mike Elgan of The Raw Feed is saying: the Courier is simply a too out-there idea for what is currently possible in the tablet world.