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Old 09-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
fjtorres
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MS Courier tablet inspires Project Austin Open Source app from MS

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-proje...38/?s_cid=e539

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The app allows users to add pages to a notebook, delete or move them, use digital ink to write or draw and add photos. Notes created in Austin can be shared with other Windows 8 apps, like e-mail and SkyDrive. Users can choose different types of "paper" and view the pages in a variety of ways, including leafing through them like a paper book.

The Austin team wasn't trying to compete with Microsoft's more robust OneNote digital note-taking app, according to a September 20 post on the Visual C++ team blog about the new app. But they did take "much of the inspiration and code" from Courier, Microsoft's cancelled, dual-screen note-taking tablet.

"We believe in the beautiful simplicity of just a pen and a piece of paper, and that's what we tried to recreate with it. Much of the inspiration and code for the Austin app draws from an earlier project code-named Courier," blogged Visual C++ developer Jorge Pereira.

Courier was a Microsoft-developed dual-screen tablet that never made it out of incubation. It was shelved before it ever came to market back in 2010.
Details here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archi...?wa=wsignin1.0

Source and Build instructions here: http://austin.codeplex.com/wikipage?...ringTitle=Home

And the video: http://media.ch9.ms/ch9/002a/7e3a6b4...ustin_high.mp4

The app itself is apparently headed for the Win8 App store.

Looks cool. Useful, too.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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Sweet! That's definitely something I would use. Thanks for posting!
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:24 PM   #3
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That looks REALLY nice. I like the graph-paper background, personally. Brings me back to my (terrible) sketching days when ignoring math teachers during class.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Too bad its win8 only though. I have zero interest in Win8, especially win8 tablets, due to the anti consumer, anticompetitive decisions MS has made regarding it (such as requiring locks to prevent other OSs from booting on w8 tablets, preventing tablets from running anything not from the appstore, all tablet apps being metro only, etc)
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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What does this do that dozens of notebook apps for other operating systems don't? Is it simply because it is specifically for Windows 8?
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WillysJeepMan View Post
What does this do that dozens of notebook apps for other operating systems don't? Is it simply because it is specifically for Windows 8?
For the most part, it is stuff that people won't notice. Code style, data structure, etc. Where most notebook apps like Windows Journal or Xournal are 2d, Austin is fully 3d, to better mimic paper grain and ink bleed. All of it adds up to a smoother, better looking experience. If it wasn't Windows 8 only, i would really be interested.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #7
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What does this do that dozens of notebook apps for other operating systems don't? Is it simply because it is specifically for Windows 8?
"Simply" because it is for Windows 8 it has access to all sorts of "minor" features and services that Windows offers up to all properly-written apps; it can automatically and transparently access Cloud storage services like LiveDrive, text can be run through the TTF engine, it picks up the "ink as a data type" features of Windows, Handwriting recognition, voice annotation, automatic "pull" data backup and sync, camera integration, remote access, resolution-independent display...

This particular app brings to Windows 8 a particular software cuite that was designed for a planned Microsoft dual-pane folding tablet called Courier. (There is a link about Courier in the ZDNet article.) A lot of people were hoping MS would release Courier; Project Austin is a chance to replicate the Courier experience on Windows 8 devices.

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-22-2012 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hellmark View Post
For the most part, it is stuff that people won't notice. Code style, data structure, etc. Where most notebook apps like Windows Journal or Xournal are 2d, Austin is fully 3d, to better mimic paper grain and ink bleed. All of it adds up to a smoother, better looking experience. If it wasn't Windows 8 only, i would really be interested.
Wouldn't it require a Surface to have a Wacom digitizer, though, since the average capacitive touchscreen doesn't have the precision for handwriting using a stylus?
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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Wouldn't it require a Surface to have a Wacom digitizer, though, since the average capacitive touchscreen doesn't have the precision for handwriting using a stylus?
From the earliest MS press releases I was under the impression that they do have a digitizer. If it is true the Surfaces would be a great deal at $399.-

Last edited by HansTWN; 09-22-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Now this is the type of app that would make me more interested in tablets in general. I do think Samsung are getting closer with their Galaxy Note tablet though.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's Windows that starts to get my attention.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #11
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Now this is the type of app that would make me more interested in tablets in general. I do think Samsung are getting closer with their Galaxy Note tablet though.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's Windows that starts to get my attention.
Perhaps we are leaving the "simple tablet" (i.e. giant PDA) era and are entering the age of the "real tablet"?
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:16 PM   #12
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Perhaps we are leaving the "simple tablet" (i.e. giant PDA) era and are entering the age of the "real tablet"?
We started entering it when we got the iPad. Its just that nobody took the iPad seriously, and then they didn't take Android seriously because it was too close to iOS. But when MS develops a tablet OS, everything suddenly becomes srs bsns and we suddenly have "real tablets."

I've got a lampshade here, anyone care to guess where I'm going to hang it? I'll give you a hint, it isn't going on my head.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:17 AM   #13
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We started entering it when we got the iPad. Its just that nobody took the iPad seriously, and then they didn't take Android seriously because it was too close to iOS. But when MS develops a tablet OS, everything suddenly becomes srs bsns and we suddenly have "real tablets."

I've got a lampshade here, anyone care to guess where I'm going to hang it? I'll give you a hint, it isn't going on my head.
It wasn't really a case of hardware for me. Otherwise it's already there as you've mentioned.

The thing about productivity apps is you're often looking at ways to synchronise across systems. If you have a Mac computer, an iPad may well have it all going on these days. It will have gone a great deal further with apps by now than Windows will have. Bento and OmniGraffle look great for example. However, they're not much use to me because my work and home computers are Windows.

It didn't surprise me that Windows would interest me in tablets because I don't only see a tablet, I see the integration between the tablet and other tools that I'm already using and unless a tablet is going to help my professional life, I find it hard to justify the expense.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:39 AM   #14
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Perhaps we are leaving the "simple tablet" (i.e. giant PDA) era and are entering the age of the "real tablet"?
I've been arguing for a while that the current "tablets" were really webpads.
Especially compared to TabletPCs which have *always* been full computers.

(But then, you already know that, since the coolest TabletPCs never leave your turf; out west we just get the high-volume generic designs or the occasional Dynamism import. )
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:45 AM   #15
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I've been arguing for a while that the current "tablets" were really webpads.
Especially compared to TabletPCs which have *always* been full computers.

(But then, you already know that, since the coolest TabletPCs never leave your turf; out west we just get the high-volume generic designs or the occasional Dynamism import. )
Fujitsu has made great tablet PCs for many years, a little heavy and too expensive for the general public. Now that the hardware has caught up, this could well be the wave of the future. Especially if they introduce them at low enough prices in the beginning.
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