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Microsoft has killed its long-rumored “Courier” tablet PC project, eliminating a possible rival to Apple’s iPad. Although it never managed to exit the development lab, early photo and video leaks on tech blogs suggested the Courier – at least as a prototype – featured two touch screens that folded on a central hinge, like a book, and was capable of letting users write notes or draw longhand.

“At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested and incubated. It’s in Microsoft’s DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity,” Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of communications, wrote in a statement widely circulated to media. “The Courier project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings.”