[NTLK] (OT) re: Courier

Daniel Jagendorf bufoamer at nyct.net
Wed Apr 7 00:59:48 EDT 2010

One thing to keep in mind is that Courier doesn't exist.

The presentation is a computer graphic video of a product without any specifications (similar to the original knowledge navigator ad).  This is Microsoft's old tactic of FUD, trying to stifle a competing product by making an announcement about something that they will produce badly 10 years later.  The name was originally meant for a mobile standard used to sync info between home and business pc's.


The enTourage eDGe (TM) is an existing version of the concept, and it runs Android.  If you're a techie this is the netbook for you.  It's more or less a large factor android phone with eReader, so the comparisons at least are valid.  


The complaints about the iPad seem to fall along the techie/average user divide, as summed up in David Pogues' NYTimes review.
The criticism's listed on Ryan's website (the "Honest" review) are mostly a bunch of hooey.  

It's a larger and more capable ipod touch--and?
Haven't had a problem with wi-fi, haven't met anyone else who has.
There are styluses to draw with, and programs for drawing.  You can input information through several different forms of keyboards.
Can Newton users really complain about weight, especially compared to MS slabs or vaporware that would have double the hardware?
I can't say about the usb port, haven't needed it.  I don't need external storage and there aren't any devices I would want to attach to it (the bluetooth keyboard works great).  My Pepper pad has everything that people complain about the lack of, and it's ghastly.
Screen too shiny? again it hasn't been a problem for me, there are matt protectors if you desire it.
OS too limited? For what?  I use it for internet and email and I'm exploring the programs that are available.  I have no interest in programming, especially if it takes a programmer's skills to make it run.  I want something that works.

It seems to come down to the tech vs. user debate.  If you need to prove yourself against difficult and unwieldy machines get a netbook or potential MS slablets.  If you don't need the production capabilities of a laptop and want something that works, get an iPad.  

The ultimate guitar review is inaccurate on several counts (headphone jack video output), fails to compare weight and battery life, and leaves out that it's discontinued (also it runs an OS not designed for tablets).  It will probably end up with it's own cult following and perhaps we should send it's users a gift basket.

Here's a more complete list of the features:

Comparisonwise, compare it to a modbook.  the iPad is not a laptop nor meant to be one.

I consider the newt to have had the capabilities of a full fledged laptop of the time, in a forearm pilot factor.  I don't need that anymore, I have a laptop that's too plugged in to external hard drives and printers and devices to be mobile without hassle, and a phone that's powerful but too small to make web viewing practical for long periods of time (and a Touch that I got so visiting relatives could have subway maps and city info available).  The iPad can go with me and make reading and viewing a pleasure (and I've unplugged the laptop the few times that I've had to design outside the apartment).

Dan J

On Apr 6, 2010, at 9:45 PM, newtontalk-request at newtontalk.net wrote:

> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2010 13:20:41 -0700
> From: Ryan <newtontalk at me.com>
> Subject: [NTLK] OT: iPad vs. MS Courier: Sound Off
> To: newtontalk at newtontalk.net
> Message-ID: <148997359511869845597913623893522632987-Webmail at me.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> So far, mixed reviews coming in about the iPad.
> Is it just an oversized iPod Touch/iPhone?  Wifi signal reported is weak; no stylus to draw and input other types of information; too heavy; no ports like a USB port, etc.; screen too shiny; OS too limited...
> These are other people's impression of the device.  Do you think a dual screen with stylus, like the MS Courier, is the better of the two?
> And, interestingly, I found this side-by-side comparison of an older HP tablet from 2003 next to an iPad.  Not sure how legitimate it is, but interesting.
> http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1297302
> Thank you,
> Ryan
> ------------------------------
> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 10:05:13 +1200
> From: "Tony Kan" <tonykan at xtra.co.nz>
> Subject: Re: [NTLK] OT: iPad vs. MS Courier: Sound Off
> To: <newtontalk at newtontalk.net>
> Message-ID: <EJEOIACEJAEGOBAFAADLAEAHEPAA.tonykan at xtra.co.nz>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
> There's a lot that the videos don't show about the MS Courier so it's going to
> be difficult to judge without seeing a real one. Just some quick shots from the
> hip:
>  1.. It might be more robust with both screens being protected when it is
> closed.
>  2.. Dual screens will definitely improve productivity.  I have this set up on
> my desktop and there's no going back now.  It's so great having a reference
> document in one window and writing in another without having to manually switch
> between them.
>  3.. HWR and stylus input seems to be better integrated into the overall UI
>  4.. No productivity apps like an adapted MS Office suite was mentioned
>  5.. No mention of any telephone capability (AFAIR)
>  6.. No mention of third party apps
>  7.. No mention of watching videos (AFAIR)
>  h.. If displaying videos was possible, watching videos with a bezel straight
> down the middle of it is a problem but then you could hold it horizontally with
> a video in the top half and continue writing notes in the other half.
> Will the UI be as elegant and organic as the iPhone OS?  Probably not.  The
> company culture's are quite different.  According to Chris Pratley
> (http://blogs.msdn.com/chris_pratley/archive/2004/04/27/120944.aspx), MS's MO is
> to get something out there that's functional as quickly as possible.  Attempt to
> keep the competition off balance with multiple updates.  It works if the
> attempted feature set is on the sweet spot but crashes and burns if they
> misunderstand the market.  Beauty, aesthetics and elegance are secondary.
> My 2c
> Tony
> Christchurch
> New Zealand
> [snip]
> These are other people's impression of the device.  Do you think a dual screen
> with stylus, like the MS Courier, is the better of the two?
> [snip]
> ------------------------------

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