Microsoft Courier Concept Rises Again in Windows 8 App "Project Austin"

By Jon Partridge on at

Anyone remember Microsoft's Courier concept? Pretty nifty, huh? While it might have an unofficial spiritual-successor in the equally neat iPad app Taposé, a group of developers from Microsoft's Visual C++ team are bringing back some of the Courier inspiration to the Windows camp via a Windows 8 app codenamed Project Austin, which allows you to do all sorts of things with your notes.

Project Austin at its core is a digital note-taking app, but it also lets you do a whole bunch of other stuff too. You can add pages to your notebook, delete them, or move them around. It will also let you use digital ink to write or draw things on those pages, as well as letting you add photos from your computer, SkyDrive, or even from your device's camera. The app will also let you share notes you create to other Windows 8 apps such as e-mail or SkyDrive. While this doesn't sound particularly ground-breaking, its how fluid and streamlined the whole experience is that really shines. Snapping images straight from a camera on a tablet, for example, and then jotting notes on and around that image in a streamlined fashion is fantastic for productivity.

Project Austin aims to "demonstrate with real code the kind of device-optimised, fluid and responsive user experience that can be utilised on Windows 8", and taking both inspiration and code from the previous Courier project seems to nail that ethos well. The app will be available soon and developer Jorge Pereira delves into a lot more detail behind the project, as well as showing a nifty concept video on the Visual C++ Blog. You can look forward to more posts and insights about the project in the future, and eager developers can take a sneak peek at the app now, as the source code is available too. Just think about the possibilities -- taking a picture of your cat, and doodling on it too? Excellent. [Visual C++ Blog via SlashGear]