Early Microsoft tablet never saw the light of day
Microsoft® had been working on a tablet computer of its own in early 2010, but reportedly axed the project when executives argued that the technology didn't align with the company's vision.
According to technology news provider CNET, Microsoft's J Allard had advocated a project called the Courier, a two-screen mobile device with a touch display.
Unlike today's tablets, the Courier was built for creative processes rather than media consumption. CNET notes that the device was seen more as a companion to traditional PCs, not a replacement.
However, CNET reports, the Courier was running a modified version of Windows®, which concerned some Microsoft executives. Rather than launch a device that didn't align with the company's other software franchises, Microsoft decided to cut the Courier in April 2010, the same month that Apple's now-popular iPad® hit the market.
Tablets have since taken the technology industry by storm. Microsoft, for its part, has announced its own tablet-compatible Windows 8, which will be available in 2012. But it faces an uphill battle as a latecomer to a highly competitive market. How the market would've been affected by the Courier remains a mystery, and one that could prove costly for the software giant.