So close yet so far away…

Today at Microsoft’s WPC In Washington DC, Bill Buxton, a natural user interface expert demoed the Copia ereader which we already saw running on the Hanvon Slate earlier in the week. The difference this time, is that demo  was on a touchscreen laptop and it worked in conjunction with the inkseine program to provide a compelling pen and touch solution. As an a side, he made a dig at stylus haters by saying each had their own advantages and that Picasso used a brush instead of his fingers for a reason. The second demo was on a Toshiba Libretto dual screen tablet which brought back memories of the cancelled courier project.

What makes this even more amazing is that the were able to code the ereader in about month using using Expression Studio, the same software family that WP7 is coded in. I would imagine the reader can be easily ported to the phone. Microsoft is so close to producing a compelling solution in the tablet market that uses both pen and touch  if they just could create a standard UI and throw in elements of the manual deskterity project, inkseine and Courier. Maybe that is what Steve Ballmer was implying when he said they were going to be competitive in that market come fall. We’ll wait and see. (full length higher quality videos of the keynotes will be available later in the day at the  WPC website.)

After the break is a Video of the  Copia  reader’s official demo.