Microsoft seems to place great trust in its Tablet PC, which should allow it to open new markets.
Vice President Jeff Raikes, during a keynote in New York, as announced, showed nine different models of the device yesterday, and confirmed that Toshiba, Acer and Fujitsu will market their Tablet PCs on November 7th, for to be followed shortly by those of ViewSonic, Motion Computing and Via Technologies.
The Tablet PC is basically a modified notebook, light and with the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly; the optional keyboard, and preloaded there will be several applications that will benefit from the possibility of accepting input by passing the electromagnetic pen on the screen.
The most important application is the Windows Journal, a notebook with lots of margins that allows you to take notes on the fly, highlight them, select them, save them and in general perform all the typical word processing operations.
The operating system used during the presentation was Windows XP Professional Tablet PC Edition, capable of recognizing the characters written on the screen in a natural way, without the need to learn a way of writing as is currently the case with the Palm Graffiti system.
Another possibility for input via a software keyboard displayed on demand on the screen.
The input area is interesting because it sends the recognized text to any application, thus allowing for example to fill out forms, e-mails, write a Word document etc.
The pen, however, can also be used as a common mouse, but reads 133 samples per second instead of 40 of the mouse, sensitive to pressure, includes a virtual eraser to erase, and one of the factors that will contribute to raising the price of the Tablet PC to about $ 150 in more than a common notebook.
Some of the most innovative functions of the Tablet will not be incorporated in the first version, but will be made available via download over time
[By Marco Centofanti]