Is Microsoft about to beat Apple to the tablet punch?

Gizmodo is running with a story about a tablet, or is that booklet, project that has been hiding deep within Microsoft’s skunkworks department and is referred to as “Courier”.

The picture above (courtesy of Gizomodo) is a rendering of what the end product is envisioned to look like and according to what Gizmodo has found out is in “late prototype” stage. Rather than being a straight tablet in design it is actually dual 7″ screen connected by a hinge that will hold a home button and it will support multi-touch by using your fingers as well as a stylus.

The Courier user experience presented here is almost the exact opposite of what everyone expects the Apple tablet to be, a kung fu eagle claw to Apple’s tiger style. It’s complex: Two screens, a mashup of a pen-dominated interface with several types of multitouch finger gestures, and multiple graphically complex themes, modes and applications. (Our favorite UI bit? The hinge doubles as a “pocket” to hold items you want move from one page to another.) Microsoft’s tablet heritage is digital ink-oriented, and this interface, while unlike anything we’ve seen before, clearly draws from that, its work with the Surface touch computer and even the Zune HD.

Source: Gizmodo – Courier: First Details of Microsoft’s Secret Tablet

The following rendering of the concept are courtesy of Gizmodo who also have a video of the Courier