Microsoft Corp said on Thursday its "Courier" tablet PC, vaunted by some as a potential rival to Apple Inc's iPad, will not be launched as a product, at least not in its current form.
The device -- which has never been publicly acknowledged by Microsoft -- appeared to be a thin, twin-screen, pen and touch-operated portable PC that resembled an opened notebook, in photos published by tech blog Gizmodo.
There was some excitement earlier this year that Microsoft would unveil Courier at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but instead Chief Executive Steve Ballmer touted a Hewlett-Packard Co slate-like device in his keynote speech.
The company indicated on Thursday that Courier will not see the light of day in its current form, but did not rule out Microsoft launching its own slate or tablet PC in the future.
"At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested and incubated," said Frank Shaw, head of Microsoft's PR department, in a blog on the company's site today. "The 'Courier' project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings."