updated 07:56 pm EDT, Sat September 22, 2012
Defunct Courier resurrected with Project Austin
A team at Microsoft is working to bring the note-taking functionality from that company's now-defunct Courier concept device toWindows 8. The app, codenamed Project Austin, is said to allow users to create notes containing a range of mixed content. As the team explains in a post onthe Visual C++ team blog, their goal was not somuch to resurrect the Courier project as to glean the best working features from it.
Project Austin is built mostly on C++ with some STL and BOOST included. The team developed its own approach to displaying digital ink, one that vectorizes stylus input in order to provide a smooth line no matter how fast a user moves the stylus. Project Austin is built in large part on the code left over from the Courier project, and it allows users to draw with a finger or a stylus on a touchscreen and to import media from a device's hard drive, camera, or from the cloud. When a note is complete, users have the option to share notes through email or through Skydrive.
The team behind Project Austin has yet to specify a release date for the app. They have, though, made the code underlying the project available through Microsoft's CodePlex, where it can be downloaded now.