The Microsoft Courier. The canceled legendary dual-screen computer from 2010 made a brief appearance during a session at Build 2018 today. In the session, Jon Friedman, a designer who worked on the courier, talked a little bit about what Courier was and why Microsoft decided to cancel the product.
The story isn’t one we didn’t already know, but it’s nice to have a more official account on the matter. In short, the reason it was canceled is because it didn’t fit in with what Microsoft were doing in the Windows space at the time. Courier ran a custom version of Windows, but at the time Microsoft was focused on making Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 the flagship versions of Windows for all devices.
The problem with Courier was that it didn’t have a clear developer story. Microsoft wanted Metro apps to be the development platform Microsoft targeted, and Courier wasn’t going to be able to run Metro apps. As such, Steve Ballmer decided to pull the plug on Courier. The Courier itself was going to be a dual-screen computer designed for note taking, email, and general productivity tasks.
These days, rumor has it that Microsoft is planning to take another stab at the dual-screen form factor, this time running Windows 10. Courier garnered a lot of interested many years ago, and news of its cancelation was heart-breaking to many following the topic. Perhaps Microsoft might be able to generate that same level of interest with its Andromeda device?