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With the Launch of Tablet PCs, Pen-Based Computing Is a Reality

It's been a while since handwriting made history, today's launch of the Tablet PC by Microsoft and its partners makes handwriting news: The Tablet PC joins handwritten input and digital processing to make pen-based computing a reality. Several computer manufacturers Acer, Fujitsu, HP, Motion Computing, NEC, Tatung, Toshiba, and ViewSonic will release Tablet PC models in two designs: one with a fixed keyboard in the laptop clamshell mode, and one with a detachable keyboard in a so-called slate form factor...
With the Launch of Tablet PCs, Pen-Based Computing Is a Reality - digital camera and photography news


The long-held industry vision of mainstream pen-based computing today became a reality as Microsoft Corp. and a broad range of computer, software and microchip companies announced the availability of Tablet PCs. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, was joined by corporate customers and partners to showcase the capabilities of the Tablet PC as the evolution of today's notebook PCs. Tablet PCs combine the full power of the Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition operating system with the capability to use a digital pen in addition to a keyboard or mouse. The result is a computer that can be used more often, and in more places, than traditional notebook PCs.

"The launch of the Tablet PC marks an exciting new era of mobile computing that is limited only by the imagination of its users," Gates said. "The Tablet PC is a great example of how computers are adapting to how people really work, whether they're taking notes in a meeting, collaborating wirelessly with colleagues or reading on screen. We're just scratching the surface of what is possible."

Underscoring the flexibility of the Tablet PC, Gates and Jeff Raikes, group vice president of the Productivity and Business Systems Group at Microsoft, showcased early enterprise momentum from Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) and Merck & Company Inc., two of the 26 corporate customers that are taking part in Microsoft's Tablet PC rapid deployment program.

New Hardware, Software Shown

Attendees at the launch event were able to view shipping hardware designs from Acer Inc., FIC, Fujitsu PC Corp., HP, Motion Computing Inc., NEC Corp., Tatung Co., Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. and ViewSonic Corp. In addition, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. announced its intention to build a Tablet PC under the Panasonic brand. Tablet PCs are available in two primary designs: One features an attached keyboard and can be configured in the traditional laptop "clamshell" mode, and the other uses a variety of detachable keyboard designs in a so-called " slate" form factor. All Tablet PCs are designed to be a user's primary business PC, recognizing input from a keyboard, mouse or pen. Tablet PCs are powered by chips optimized for low power consumption and longer life from Intel Corp., Transmeta Corp. and Via Technologies Inc. Tablet PCs are available at retailers throughout the United States. Final retail prices are being announced by each manufacturer.

Raikes demonstrated several new software applications for the Tablet PC, showcasing the power of the platform. Tablet PCs ship with extensions to Microsoft's Office XP suite that bring the power of digital ink to key Office XP applications such as the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client, Microsoft® Word, Excel, and the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program. With a Tablet PC running Office XP, users will be able to incorporate the comfort of handwriting into everyday tasks such as creating e-mail, annotating word documents and marking up PowerPoint presentations.

For on-screen reading applications, Gates announced the availability of Microsoft Reader for Tablet PC, the latest version of Microsoft's eReading application, optimized to take advantage of the Tablet PC. Purchasers of Tablet PCs from select manufacturers will be able to take advantage of a special promotional offer that enables new Tablet PC owners to download an engaging selection of free eBooks* targeted to business professionals. A link to the promotional site will be preinstalled on Tablet PCs from participating OEMs. In addition, Gates announced that several prominent newspaper and magazine publishers, including The New Yorker, Forbes Magazine, Slate Magazine and the Financial Times, are working with Microsoft's Advanced Reading Technologies Group to make their publications available to Tablet PC users.

Click here to read more about the Tablet PC announcements.

Additional information: Product information
November 7, 2002
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