Microsoft shuts creative unit behind Courier tablet

Microsoft logoNew tips Thursday afternoon have pointed to and confirmed Microsoft shutting down its once-hopeful Pioneer Studios.

New tips Thursday afternoon have pointed to and confirmed Microsoft shutting down its once-hopeful Pioneer Studios. Its creative workshop, best known for the ill-fated Courier tablet, has closed down its exotic office in Seattle and seen most staff either folded into existing groups or have left elsewhere. Microsoft didn't directly confirm the end to the studio with CNET but did say it was no longer occupying its custom-designed space.

Pioneer was an attempt to break away from the stereotypical Microsoft mentality and encourage a more innovative atmosphere. Started by key Xbox creator J Allard, most of its hopes were centered on the Courier. The design, leaked out for months in advance, would have been genuinely unique with dual screens and a custom-developed interface with common features like web browsing but a set of primary features built on translating note taking to the digital world.

Trouble began to reach the public eye in April of last year when Microsoft axed the Courier in its only real formal statement that it had existed. The company tried to dismiss the development as a pure experiment, but leaks suggested that CEO Steve Ballmer personally killed the project after not seeing how it would fit the company's existing strategy.

J Allard left the company shortly afterwards, ostensibly for personal reasons. Many suspect it was a lack of faith in Microsoft's direction after the Courier project ended.

Some of Pioneer's work did make it into shipping products, including the Kin, Windows Phone, the Xbox 360, and the Zune, but many of these were interface elements and aren't always visible. Most of the blame for the Kin's failure has been attributed to divisional infighting than the quality of Pioneer's work.

As a whole, Pioneer may have been the victim of a protectionist culture in Microsoft. Both current and past employees have complained about the company's Windows and Office groups often exerting jealousy, either by demanding changes to a product to make it use their technology or attempting to kill it outright. Courier was based on WindowsCE, but its heavily customized, unique interface wouldn't have shared much with fellow Microsoft operating systems and would have undermined Windows 7 tablets.

Source: Electronista

Tags: Microsoft

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)