The Competition: Microsoft "Courier" Tablet

While everyone is waiting on Apple to unveil their universally rumored iTablet/iPad device next year, Gizmodo has just scored the scoop on what Microsoft just might be planning to counter it -- the "Courier" tablet.

Decidedly un-Apple in it's approach, with dual booklet screens, pen and touch input, and feel that's all organized chaos, it's also strikingly different to Microsoft's previous Tablet PC efforts (which were largely tweaked versions of XP and then Vista). Here's why:

Until recently, it was a skunkworks project deep inside Microsoft, only known to the few engineers and executives working on it—Microsoft's brightest, like Entertainment & Devices tech chief and user-experience wizard J. Allard, who's spearheading the project. Currently, Courier appears to be at a stage where Microsoft is developing the user experience and showing design concepts to outside agencies.

Head on over to Gizmodo to see a video of the concept in action (not iPhone friendly, sorry).

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.