While the tech world has been busy speculating about Apple’s
forthcoming tablet, Microsoft has apparently been busy creating one of its own.

Courier

Gizmodo breaks word of the device that is reportedly in the
“late prototype” stage. The system, code named Courier, is said to have dual
7-inch screens with a hinge between them. Both are touch-sensitive and designed
for writing (via stylus) and manipulation by hand. On the back cover is a
camera.

Leading the charge on this is Entertainment & Devices
tech chief J Allard – best known as the person who spearheaded the Xbox project
at Microsoft. It has been a hush hush project at the company until very
recently, with only a few people aware of its existence.

Gizmodo reports that Microsoft is currently developing the
user experience for the system and has recently started showing design concepts
to outside agencies.

The move towards a proprietary tablet is a big step for
Microsoft, which has traditionally stayed very much on the software side of the
PC business. While it has not been shy about creating entertainment-focused
hardware, this would be the first device from the company that competes with
its PC manufacturer partners – even if that competition is indirect.

There’s no known timeline for Courier at this point – and it
could be some time before the company officially acknowledges its existence.

Then again… with the Apple tablet reportedly nearly ready
for prime time, we may hear more about this sooner than we expect.

(Image credit: Gizmodo)

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