Microsoft has a not-so-secret tablet in the works, too

— 6:00 AM on September 23, 2009

Apple isn't the only one with a potentially revolutionary tablet-like device in the works. Gizmodo has the scoop on an upcoming Microsoft tablet, and in this case, there's a lot more than rumors and speculation to go on—the story includes a concept video and some renders.

The tablet term might be somewhat of a misnomer, since the Courier actually has two 7-inch ("or so") displays sitting side-by-side in booklet fashion. Judging by the video, both displays have multi-touch capabilities, and the user can write on them with a pen. Gizmodo says the hinge at the center doubles as a "single iPhone-esque home button," as well.

Oh, and as if all that weren't futuristic enough, this thing may even charge by induction.

As unusual as the hardware is, the interface is even more original. Only the video really does it justice, but the Courier seems to meld elements from the iPhone interface (with multi-touch gestures), existing tablet PCs (with pen input and handwriting recognition), and the Zune user interface (with slick panning and zooming effects), while adding some unique and surprisingly intuitive-looking UI elements and interactions. Pretty cool stuff.

The Courier has supposedly reached the "late prototype" development stage, so we should hear more soon. In fact, Gizmodo says it plans to learn more details in the next couple of days.

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