Check the full article for a tour of some ahead-of-their-time Microsoft products/projects
"Friedman is still at Microsoft and he’s now responsible for the design of Office 365. Friedman held a similar talk at a design conference in Seattle two years ago, but this is the first time he’s spoken at Microsoft’s own conference about past product failures. The timing of Friedman’s talk is ironic as Microsoft is now rumored to be working on a Courier-like device for taking digital notes. The mysterious device has been spotted many times in patents from the Surface team, and reports suggest it will include dual displays with a unique hinge and a special notepad app to mimic writing like a real notebook.Microsoft reflects on the failures of Courier, KIN, and ultra mobile PCs - The Verge
It’s not clear if Microsoft’s mysterious Surface device, codenamed Andromeda, will ever make it to market, but Friedman’s talk does show that the company is aware of its past failures and is trying to learn from them."