As CNET tells the story, the fight at Microsoft to abandon Courier, a planned two-screen tablet computer, produced two factions. The Allardites, led by Xbox-creator J. Allard, wanted a diptych-like tablet with touchscreen capability. Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft’s Windows division, led the counter-revolutionary Sinofskyites, who claimed that a version of Windows for tablet computers was still a figment of the imagination.
Steve Ballmer couldn’t cast his lot with the neutral angels. According to CNET, perplexed and bewildered, he went to the one wise man whom would not lead him astray, Mr. William H. Gates III.
While Allard reportedly saw the Courier as a complement to the PC for creative types, a device for sketchers, doodlers, and scribblers, Gates backed away from the device when it became clear that it would not mesh well with the company’s Windows and Office products.
Read more at CNET.