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Microsoft might revive its Courier concept with a dual-screen tablet and pen

Microsoft might revive its Courier concept with a dual-screen tablet and pen
[Photo: David Ramon/ Getty Images]

Microsoft reportedly has some new hardware in the works, and it sounds a lot like the fabled Courier project that the company abandoned seven years ago. Sources tell Windows Central that the device will have two screens that fold up to fit in a pants pocket, along with a digital pen for taking notes. Although Windows will be the underlying operating system, sources say the device will be optimized for taking notes, possibly tied to Microsoft’s existing OneNote app. The goal is to launch the device in 2018, but it could be pushed back or canceled entirely.

The original Courier device emerged through the rumor mill in 2009, but Microsoft abandoned the project one year later. According to CNET, Microsoft’s leadership ultimately decided the project was too much at odds with the existing Windows and Office businesses, and scrapped it. (There’s a great quote about Bill Gates having “an allergic reaction” to the Courier’s lack of Outlook and Exchange support.) But Microsoft is a much different company now, far less focused on Windows than it used to be, so perhaps the time is right to revive one of its funkiest ideas.JN