Microsoft Reveals Digital Note-taking App For Windows 8 Inspired By Courier

Microsoft today revealed a new product called Project Austin. Its a digital note-taking app for Windows 8. You can use digital ink to write or draw things on those pages, add photos, share the notes you create to other Windows 8 apps such as e-mail or SkyDrive. You can add pages to your notebook, delete them, or move them around. There are different types of papers to choose from and the app looks pretty cool. The team behind this app even said that this project was inspired by Microsoft Courier tablet concept.

But you know which division at Microsoft built this app? Microsoft Developer Division.

Another very important goal of this app is to showcase the power of the native platform and C++, and some of the new features in Visual Studio 2012 such as automatic code vectorization and C++ AMP.  Austin aims to demonstrate with real code the kind of device-optimized, fluid and responsive user experience that can be built with our newest native tools on the Windows8 platform.
For that reason, we are making the majority of the source code available for download here.  We also plan to publish a series of blog posts on the Visual C++ Team Blog talking about our experience building it, and some of the technologies we used. You can find the introductory blog post by Jorge Pereira here.

This app looks interesting. You can download the code from here. This app will be released to public soon.

  • Dominique

    But but but… skeuomorphism was supposed to be BAD!! Right Microsoft?!

    • guest

      Seriously? That’s the best you can do?

    • XB_Mod

      Exactly….this app is very ugly. With OneNote MX around they shouldn’t waste resources for crapware.

      • WixosTrix

        Because Microsoft never integrates their technologies…

    • SteveyAyo

      I dont think you have ANY idea what youre rambling on about

      • Dominique

        See my comment above.

        • SteveyAyo

          Placing lines on paper is no where near the same thing as creating a 3d wooden bookshelf or Faux Leather Calendar… again, youre lost

          • Dominique

            Really, and a faux stack of 3d papers is ok?

            in any case after I read the blog post I realised this is just a C++ technology demo and for that they can be forgiven. Just hoping it won’t set a new design trend at the company; don’t really want real world objects polluting my ‘authentically-digital’ experience.

    • TonyFinlay

      Where’s the skeuomorphism? Simple things like lines and grids hardly constitute skeuomorphism, these are things that are technically useful. The only thing I can see that would need to go is the drop shadows as they are pointless and don’t align with Windows UI I’ll give you that.

    • Dominique

      I was referring to pages being brought from the real world into the digital, and from the looks of the video they have spent quite a lot of effort into creating make-believe pages. They are emulating different paper types at 0:50, and the really ugly 3D view with shadows, curved paper etc at 1:40. I’m just glad that this is not an official Windows 8 app, as it goes completely against the ‘authentically-digital’ premise MSFT has been talking about for so long. And if they really do plan to make this official then they shouldn’t have criticised other companies in the first place.

      • WixosTrix

        The other companies, like Apple, are doing it just for the sake of doing it with no added benefit. This is a note taking application clearly designed for pen input and to replace the existing pads you may be using. White paper in case you’re drawing something; line paper in case you’re writing or taking notes, and graphing paper in case you’re graphing. They give clear examples in the video. What does the notes app on the iPad let you do? Type words on line paper. This is a more realistic approach.

  • Eingoluq

    This should be an update for OneNote not a separate app.

  • ustudio


  • gary

    I am trying to get this app where is it