One of the most interesting products at Microsoft is one that does not exist.
The Courier was a mythical folding tablet, that leaked to tech blogs in the past year. While just a prototype, the leaked early marketing materials for the device had tech observers excited.
Ultimately, Microsoft decided to scrap the Courier.
Here’s what Robbie said:
Well, Courier — Courier, first of all, wasn’t a device. The project and the incubation and the exploration we did on Courier I view as super important. The “device” people saw in the video isn’t going to ship, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn a bunch and innovate a bunch in the process. And I’m sure a bunch of that innovation will show up in Microsoft products, absolutely confident of it.
And you know, it’s hard internally because we have some — we have a strong shipping culture. People want to create products and ship it, which is really cool. But you have to make sure when you’re doing incubations that people understand, hey, sometimes the power is in the ideas you learn and the things you carry forward, not necessarily just in shipping something. And I think venture capitalists understand that, it’s easier in their world to understand this. In our world that’s something we’ve had to get our heads around.
We can’t help but wonder how important the Courier was to everything that happened today. Mary Jo Foley previously reported that Microsoft’s product visionary J Allard wanted to leave because Microsoft decided to pass on the Courier.
The Courier was a really cool looking product that had the tech world excited. Microsoft’s decision to pass on it without a viable alternative, or much of an explanation, is a bit of a mystery.
See Also: Microsoft Cancels Its “Courier” Tablet