Microsoft researchers intent on keeping hope alive on the Courier front with the Manual Deskerity project. "Manual Deskerity is a project focused on ways of using touch and pen/stylus in concert to create "new tools" for gestures and manipulation on Surface tabletops. Among these "new tools" are capabilities like being able to "cut" an image (like an Xacto knife), "staple" images together, "stamp" images to copy them, creating "tape curves," etc."
Microsoft execs are going to be talking about Manual Deskerity the week of Oct'3 at ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in New York City. Manual Deskerity team published a white paper about their work. There're some interesting tidbits that elaborate on the short video demo: