The Courier may be dead, but we are still getting to see the innovations built by Microsoft back when development on Courier was still in its prime. A patent application filed by Microsoft back in January 2009 describes the page curl feature – exactly the way it is implemented on the iPad’s iBooks app.
In the application, Microsoft writes,
“One or more pages are displayed on a touch display. A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display. The virtual page turn actively follows the page-turning gesture. The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page. A lifted portion of the page is given an increased transparency that allows the back side of the page to be viewed through the front side of the page. A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.”
To be fair, virtual page curling is neither Apple’s nor Microsoft’s innovation. At least as far as I can remember, the functionality was already available on the iPhone app named Classics.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft indeed wins rights to this subtle yet interesting feature
Microsoft Courier may no longer be a reality. But the company has just been awarded a patent for the purported dual display design of the Courier tablet PC. Patent number D618683 describes the “ornamental design for a dual display device“.
Frankly, the design for which Microsoft has just won the proprietary rights is so generic that it could refer to any of the dual display devices that we have seen in the past. It is not clear how Microsoft intends to make use of the patent. Licensing the rights to every other company looking to make a dual display tablet is an obvious plan. But it would be great if we can still manage to see a Microsoft Courier sometime in future.