All the cool kids are gaga over the iPad, even moreso now since Apple shocked the world by announcing a release date for something it already announced a release window for. Because “accepting preorders next week” is news these day, apparently. What the heck, hipsters? You think you’re too cool to walk into a store and buy something like common people?
Anyway. Microsoft released more interface shots of its potential tablet-based device which, unlike Apple’s upcoming offering, actually has a reason to exist, and isn’t simply a literal magnification of a product you can already buy. And they’re pretty fantastic. Engadget has a great gallery of new screenshots for the device, and when you add them to the interface video Gizmodo showed a while ago, it really shows that Microsoft isn’t the lumbering dinosaur all the hipsters think it is. Sure, Microsoft does sometimes look like that, but when you spend all your time congratulating yourself for being so much hipper than the competition, that doesn’t give you any time to actually see if the competition’s as unhip as you say they are.
Courier, if it gets released in any form remotely like what these new screenshots and photos suggest, is going to be big. It’s going to huge. It’s going to be the revolutionary product that Apple is pretending the iPad is. This is Microsoft firing on all cylinders, taking the time to consider how a handheld device could be used to make something, not just to passively surf through the iTunes store and buy movies.
Here’s the thing: Apple had a shot to define this category, to define the pinnacle of mobile computing, that thing everyone else would aspire to match. The iPad was Apple’s shot, and they missed. They failed, because they were trying to be too cool for their own good. And now it falls to the supposedly stodgy company from Redmond to do what Apple was apparently unable to do: determine the future state of cool in computers.
But this is the way it always goes, right? Apple makes the most noise with their tiny marketshare, while Microsoft, uncool but actually useful, goes right along making products the entire planet wants to use. Now they’re at it again, and you know what? I can’t wait.