Apple and Microsoft are both in the race to release what will inevitably be nicknamed the “Kindle Killer” — a tablet computer for reading digital books, newspapers and magazines.

Both companies have been keeping things pretty hush-hush, but in this digital age, true secrecy is pretty much impossible, and we’re now starting to get some glimpses of what each party will be offering as the leaks burst.

Apple’s tablet is naturally the most hyped. New rumours claim it will essentially be a higher res,  10″ version of the iPhone, and the company is reportedly in talks with publishers to release textbooks, newspapers and magazines through iTunes or as apps. Tipsters believe it could be ready as early as next year.

Meanwhile, footage of Microsoft’s “Courier” tablet has surfaced, revealing a concept based more around an electronic notebook, run over two 7″ screens, on which users can draw and write with their fingers or an electronic pen:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6820724[/vimeo]

We don’t use this word in conjunction with Microsoft very often, but: cool.

Still, with the Courier reportedly still very much in the “concept” phase, Apple may once again beat them to the punch — and the market share.