Microsoft kills Courier, HP kills Windows 7 Slate, Fusion Garage lets JooJoo suffer

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Two would-be Microsoft-based competitors pre-emptively bit the dust yesterday -- both Microsoft's own Courier and HP's Windows 7 Slate are no more, and it's fairly safe to say a third, Fusion Garage's JooJoo, is being kept alive on life support for now. all this follows 500,000+ opening week iPad Wi-Fi sales for Apple, and comes on the eve of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G release.

Courier was never made manifest beyond some animated concept movies showing off a dual-screen, notebook-like device with innovative UI and finger and pen-based input. The video was promising enough to wow the tech world but at the same time set expectations incredibly high for software that didn't exist. That could have been a factor in the cancelation, along with the realities of trying to sell a device whose price-point would literally be double the iPad's. Gizmodo, who broke word of the Courier's existing, also tolled its end:

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.

The HP Slate was less vapor, more ware, and was even given the Ballmer-bump during the CES 2010 keynote in an effort to show up Apple. The idea of an extra chunky Intel tablet running a desktop OS like Windows 7 probably appealed to power users, and to HP until about a minute after they bought Palm. TechCrunch has heard through sources that the Slate is no more. We're betting the timing is no coincidence and HP re-announces a much more mobile-friendly, webOS based Slate in the future.

Oh, and Engadget says the JooJoo is being updated.

[Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 16 comments. Add yours.

Dan says:

definitely setting up for the HP webos slate

Jeff dunn says:

This is sad. Competition is always good and makes companies try harder to please consumers. I worry that with these two gone apple will not try as hard in the future. Plus the courier looked like a really device.

Björn says:

Agreed! The iPad is out and is going to be stripped down naked. So the timing is perfect - just bought Palm and now they can sort of "fill in the blanks" where the iPad falls short; and take full advantage of webOS to produce a much more powerful slate device.

chris m says:

you gotta admit that a WebOS tablet seems awesome. Multitasking ftw
flash really I could care less, but it "is" coming to WebOS so... And flash too? Lolz

mullrat says:

Actually this move ups the competition. I mean a non product(courier) a misguided product (HP slate) and a vastly inferior product (JooJoo) aren't going to be true competition in this space. The iPad will get plenty of competition from the android tablet and the new web os tablet. Btw the web os tablet is very compelling. Web os is one of those operating systems that is so underpowered on the pre. Putting the os on a large tablet with a stout processor will be very compelling and I think very competitive to the iPad.

Ray says:

I returned my ipad so i can buy the HP Slate when its released. Now there is a chance hp wont release it at all? Even if it is released, who knows if hp will have a second gen since the palm webOS is theres now. They will probably get rid of MS as soon as they figure out which buttons to press on the palm OS.

Limegrntaln says:

Ray I'm laughing my ass off right now. My friend did the same thing to me. Harping on me for getting an iPad. And Now this slate thing isn't even coming out.

Derek says:

How can you kill something that was never alive?

SockRolid says:

@chris m: "you gotta admit that a WebOS tablet seems awesome. Multitasking ftw"
Holding out for HPalm Foleo 2.0? Jeff Hawkins said that Foleo was his best idea ever. The rest of the world said it was D.O.A. lolz
At this point, any competitor trying to sell an iPad clone will just make iPad look better. The most serious clone will be the Android tablet, but Apple has proven that they're ready and willing to sue. They sued HTC over multi-touch just as a shot across Google's bow. The next shot, in the form of another patent infringement lawsuit, would be a direct hit on Google, if they're foolish enough to infringe on Apple's patents.

Slatelover says:

I was about to wait for an HP Slate or Win7 pad, now I am just getting the iPad instead.

Orion2021 says:

I find this histerical. They talk about these devices simply to look like they were not caught yet again with their pants down, only to prove the point by saying they are canceled. This is the second major device release after the iPhone In 07 where apple has planted a flag and dared anyone to knock it over. These companies now must go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to compete with apples new device. These companies are failing miserably at competing and are in full defensive mode instead of going on the offensive and arriving with a product that gives people the options they want. I think apple does need competition though as of today I see only one company standing squarly in the ring ready to take anyone on and that is apple.

Hp Slate says:

Back in January, HP VP Phil McKinney says the Slate running Windows 7 is a "real product. It's not a prototype or concept. We're committed to delivering it in 2010." And this relatively long testimonial from Adobe in March says the Windows 7 HP Slate "will be available in the market later this year."
Of course, HP can change its mind. And the acquisition of Palm and the WebOS may give HP pause. But one argument being made is that HP may bring out tablets based on Windows 7 and Palm's WebOS. HP is not averse to bringing out several different models in one product segment, as this San Jose Mercury News article points out. Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research, said he believes that HP will bring out both a Windows 7 Slate and a product based on Palm's WebOS. "Vendors will experiment to see which ones are a hit," he said, in a phone interview.
"I don't think the Slate has been canceled. This is a delay, if anything," said Ben Bajarin with Creative Strategies. "The question is, will they bring out different products at different price points." HP may opt for a Windows 7 Slate for some segments, while a hypothetical WebOS-based tablet will address others, Bajarin said.
Source from www.news.cnet.com

Hp Slate 32 says:

Hp Slate will probably be doing a last minute change of the OS. It is rumor that HP will be dropping Microsoft 7 OS from their Slate device. WebOS (most likely) will be their operating system of choice. Last heard is that HP was NOT happy with the performance of Microsoft 7 as a touch screen device. With HP purchasing Palm recently and with it came WebOS, it seems only likely that HP will be using WebOS as their OS for the Slate.
HP may also be dropping the Intel processor for something “LESS POWER HUNGARY”. If they go to the new OS they won’t need the Intel processor and thus will gain a few more hours of battery life. Something that they were hammered on in hands on testing.
Also heard that maybe they will be introducing the Slate under a new title… HP HURRICANE!
Just a rumor for now… I guess we have to wait and see what happens.

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