Several photographs of Microsoft's not-yet-announced Courier tablet device have been leaked to Engadget. The photos of what could be Microsoft's answer to Apple's iPad show a two panel device that folds shut like a book that is reliant on pen-based input.
These photos are in keeping with previous leaked images of Courier, and show a more refined product than was seen in photos leaked in the Fall of 2009. The images also offer some perspective and context for the size of the device, as seen in the photo below republished with permission from Engadget.
Microsoft has been working on Courier for some time, and the company reportedly wants to use the device to further its long-standing tablet efforts. According to Engadget, however, the device is likely based on Windows CE 6 -- the same OS that powers the Zune and the upcoming Windows Mobile 7 Series of smartphones due out later in 2010. Microsoft's previous tablet efforts have been based on a dedicated version of the desktop form of Windows.
Photo courtesy of Engadget
The device shown -- which we should stress is still in development -- is approximately 5" by 7" when folded, weighs just over one pound, and just over an inch thick when folded.
Engadget cited the source of the photos as a "trusted source," but product details are still vague. A shipping time frame of "Q3/Q4" was offered, but no word yet on pricing. The device could have a camera, and could also be at the heart of Microsoft's attack on the ebook market - the form factor more closely duplicates a traditional book paradigm than other e-readers already on the market, including Apple's iPad.
Engadget has also been given a couple of videos showing the interface in action.