Microsoft Courier Tablet Killed Because it Didn’t Run Windows [Video]

November 2, 2011, By Leo Xavier

Microsoft’s Courier tablet, which was expected to compete with the Apple iPad, was killed off by the company because the tablet strayed outside of their two main businesses, Windows and Office. It appears like the company feared that the tablet would eventually become a threat to those businesses.

According to a report from CNet, it was Bill Gates who steered Steve Ballmer away from the Courier tablet project.

In case you missed everything in the past, Microsoft’s Courier tablet was a journal-like tablet which was being developed by a 130-person team headed by J. Allard, the same guy who led the development of the popular Xbox console.


The device had a clamshell form factor coming with two panels. Each panel was 7 inch across. We heard for the first time about the project back in 2009. At that time there were rumors about an Apple tablet which later came to be known as the iPad.

The latest info suggests that the decision to kill off the project came from Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.

As you might have heard, Courier didn’t have an email client. According to Gates, the lack of email was a threat to Microsoft’s extremely lucrative Exchange server business.

Also the team designed the device by incorporating a highly customized interface. They ditched the Windows interface. This was seen by Gates as a threat to Windows itself. Later on, the project was canceled.

Let’s wait and see what the company does with Windows 8 tablets which are expected to arrive sometime next year. In the meantime, check out the video below (courtesy of Gizmodo) to take a peek at what all things you could have done with the Courier.

And don’t forget to place your comments in the box below. Do you think that the device would have become a threat to Windows and Office if it was launched?

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