Apr 292010

When I started Vaporwatch, I half-believed that Microsoft would actually release one of the breakthrough products it was “developing”. After all, the trick of announcing a product whose sole purpose was to deflate enthusiasm for competitors’ real products was just becoming too obvious and well-worn – even for Microsoft.

Well, now that Apple’s iPad has sold more than a million units in less than a month in only one country, M$ has decided to make me look like a genius by “leaking” to Gizmodo that it was time for Courier to give up the ghost.

I have to give them credit: Classic Redmond would have dragged the charade on for another year before burying it. Guess they figured spending another half a million on a “concept video” that had zero impact on Apple’s real product in the same space was wasteful. It’s not like Microsoft is any stranger to setting money on fire.  Aside from losing billions every quarter trying to push consumer electronics that no one wants, they periodically burn haybales of capital on some of the worst advertising in the business. Using that criteria, axing Courier qualifies as one of the most sensible marketing decisions Microsoft has made in the last decade.

So while the comment sections of Gizmodo are aghast with shock and mourn the premature death of a device that no doubt would have changed the face of mobile computing – even though it never had a corresponding presence in the physical universe – the sane among us knew there was a better chance of being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day than of the Courier seeing the light of day.

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