Killing Courier was the right thing to do. Microsoft is a platform company, and the great strength of iPhone is the iOS platform. Platforms make sense, and jeopardizing platforms for an appliance was never a sensible proposition.
Why does it have to be Courier v. Windows 8?
The great strength of iPhone is not just iOS. The great strength of iPhone & iPad is a wonderful piece of hardware that works seamlessly with the software. Courier was exactly this concept. Hardware and software both built to work together seamlessly.
It is clear that Microsoft didn’t say, “for Windows8 there must only be one User Interface that can reign supreme. Metro UI vs Windows UI. Fight!” So why did it have to be either Courier or Windows 8.
Killing the Courier project was Safe not Smart.
I believe the decision came down to the typical Microsoft decision, “slowly update by versioning Windows OR be revolutionary and leapfrog to the next big frontier”. Ballmer chose to do what Microsoft always does, play it safe and slowly update their software and trudge along.
During the D8 conference Bill Gates admitted that he admired Steve Jobs’ ability to focus in on the next big frontier and get there. Yet, no one from Microsoft has figured out how to make these decisions.
The Courier was interesting hardware that many people would have enjoyed using. This boneheaded decision means that we will all just go on using our Moleskines & Field Notes until a non-jackass gives us a digital replacement.