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News Week of June 9, 2002

Toshiba and Sotec announce support for Tablet PC

“Two Japanese PC makers have added their names to the list of companies supporting Microsoft's Tablet PC system. Toshiba and Sotec used a Microsoft-organised event to declare their support for the Tablet PC system while Sotec unveiled prototype hardware running Windows XP Tablet Edition. Sotec's prototype, named the Afina Tablet, looks like a conventional notebook PC but features a swivelling LCD which can fold around on itself to enable the machine to take a tablet-like form - a design similar to other recently launched devices such as Sony's latest Clie PDA.” (Source:

Japanese PC makers announce support for Tablet PC
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: 2

Microsoft Has Big Plans for Enterprise Mobility

“Microsoft fully intends to take its slice of the mobile-enterprise pie in the coming years, according to Douglas Dedo, marketing manager of the mobile devices division at Microsoft. For the most part, though, the desktop giant is not looking to provide front-line solutions. Microsoft's strategy instead is to produce those tools that will allow others to take Windows apps on the road.” (Source: Adam Stone of
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: 1.5

Microsoft Unveils Japanese OS for Tablet PC

“Microsoft...unveiled the Japanese-language version of an operating system for the Tablet PC promoted by its U.S. parent that allows users to input handwritten information with a special pen. Five computer makers will soon begin selling personal computers with the Japanese-language Microsoft XP Tablet PC Edition installed, possibly from late October, said the Japanese subsidiary of software giant Microsoft Corp.” (Source: Kyodo News)
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

Air Force uses tablet PCs to direct Afghanistan airstrikes

“The U.S. Air Force has taken tablet PCs higher than Bill Gates ever imagined and so far has not encountered the “blue screens” cursed by ground-bound Windows users.”

“The Air Force quickly adapted a commercial tablet PC to provide critical targeting and navigation information to aircrews operating over Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom, fielding pen-input systems to combat aircrews in just three months. It's a turnaround tough in the corporate world and almost unheard of in the government where acquisition and deployment cycles are measured in years. The system also can go a long way toward preventing the kind of "friendly fire" incidents that resulted in casualties in Operation Desert Storm and early in the Afghanistan campaign. The Windows 2000-based tablet PC system has experienced "no blue screens" despite rigorous in-flight testing that put it through better than 3G aerial maneuvers, according to Robert Severino, president of Position Integrity LLC, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based company that developed the Pilot/Aircrew Management (PACMAN) system.” (Source: Bob Brewin of ComputerWorld)
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

Your Technology Future, According to Bill

“In his 2002 CEO Summit last month, Bill Gates took to task his own industry, the software manufacturers, for not offering simpler, more intelligent products. He also continued to champion the still not-yet-widely-popular tablet PC form factor.”

“The Tablet PC is important, Gates explained, because it frees the user from her desk and chair. In the coming years, Gates also expects the microphone to move from PC add-on to integral and essential PC equipment, thanks to the adoption of voice-command, voice-recognition, and voice-communication capability.” (Source: Mary E. Behr of PC Magazine)
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

MSFT whoopsie on Mira

According to an excellent article on Computerwire:

"Microsoft Corp faces an embarrassing problem with the roll-out of its handheld "home companion" computer Mira, after a company executive revealed that the device will not work with computers running the Windows XP Home Edition operating system. The problem is that Microsoft has targeted the Mira devices at the home market, while the Tablet PC, a separate more expensive and fully featured device type is aimed at the corporate market. However, Mira will currently only run with XP Professional, because this includes a key piece of software needed to run the Mira Terminal, a software server that supports the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).”

... Considering that the target user base had already been reduced to only XP users, this has further reduced the potential user profile to a technically competent XP user base.”
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 by wmf
Rating: n/a

Touch International's TurboWare Now Supports XP, CE.NET and 3.0 Devices for Touch-Enhanced Applications

“Touch International Inc., a global touch screen supplier...announced that the company's TurboWare touch screen driver now supports Microsoft Windows XP, CE.NET and CE 3.0. Target applications include personal digital assistants (PDAs), Tablet PCs, Web pads, smart phones, and any smart devices that employ Microsoft's new technology, “Mira.” (Source: Touch International Inc. Press Release)
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

Silicon Motion's Lynx3DM+ graphics controller

“Silicon Motion, Inc. announced...that VIA Technologies, Inc. selected the Lynx3DM+ graphics controller for their new Tablet PC reference design. The VIA Tablet PC is a compact, high performance mobile computer that bridges the gap between PC and notepad. For the mobile individual, the VIA Tablet PC reference design provides all the power to run common productivity applications anywhere and the graphics performance to maximize the Internet experience.” (Source: Silicon Motion, Inc. Press Release)

Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

A Hands-On Display

“In the last year flat-panel PC display screens have gotten so cheap they're no longer atypical. But touch-sensitive flat-panel screens that accept input from the screen haven't reached that point yet.”

“Wacom Technology, the company that popularized the pen and tablet as a mouse replacement that graphic artists now swear by, continues to push its concept of a flat-panel screen you can write on. Its Cintiq 18sx is an 18.1-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1,280 by 1,024 pixels and 24-bit color that is aimed at graphics professionals who want to do their work without the degree of separation that the mouse-and-screen interface requires.” (Source: Arik Hesseldahl of Forbes Inc.)
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

Microsoft Research Article on Tablet PC

Several readers have asked for more insight about the inner workings of ink. Here's some good stuff!
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2002 by wmf
Rating: n/a

Geoffrey Palmer's PlanetPDA presentation (PDF file)

Took honors for the Best Tablet Solution at Planet PDA Boston 2002
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

FIC displays range of products

“First International Computer (FIC) displayed a huge range of technology earlier this year at CeBIT Hannover and even more new products were on display at its stand at Computex. Visitors to Computex this year found a vast array of products at the FIC booth including space saving small form-factor PC systems, server appliances, webpads, tablet PCs, Pocket PCs, Bluetooth products and an award-winning range of motherboards.”

“A Tablet PC is a cross between a laptop, a conventional PC system and a webpad. The FIC Crystal machine is designed around the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC edition. Exciting ink technology allows handwriting to be either converted to text or stored as images.” (Source: FIC Press Release)
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2002 by ChrisC
Rating: n/a

Interview with Qbe Tech's Larry Poland

Qbe has had a pretty cool tablet form factor computer in the market for a while. Here is an email exchange with their new VP of sales, Larry Poland.

Q) You are an industry veteran with many years of big company sales
experience. What persuaded you to take on this new role for a
relatively small company?

A) The Tablet PC arena is new and exciting. These are not your basic
gray box products. QBE will be working with early adopters and
corporate clients who see the value of using a Tablet PC. We are
working with an ever-changing product that enhances computing for the
mobile world. For myself, the challenge of bringing the QBE Tablet
PC from inception to market is what persuaded the decision.

Q) What are the most pressing concerns expressed by your current
customer base? How do you plan to address them?

A) The most pressing concerns are very much the same as they were in
the notebook market: Weight, size, battery life, and display. Our
weight will be in the under four pound range. We will be using an
Intel Pentium ultra low voltage processor. This will help with
battery life while at the same time giving our customers the best
processor on the market. Displays are always a concern for those
customers working inside and outside the office. Qbe will be using
Transmissive screens to provide the best display for our customers.

Q)What are your priority areas for growth?

A) Qbe Technologies is targeting vertical markets and the highly
mobile consumer. There is currently a void for products in both
vertical industries and with the highly mobile world. We know that
the Qbe will address and fill these voids. We prefer to say that
we're "applying Qbe Technology to a mobile world."

Q) If a reader happens to work for a large enterprise, why should his
enterprise consider choosing Qbe?

A) We feel that Qbe Tech's Tablet PCs will give large enterprise
customers a product that is performance driven with the function
enterprise customers' need. We will have a very robust system that
is priced competitively with other systems. We are talking about a
product that is new to the market, in many verticals and to the
general consumer. Customer service will be a key factor to keeping
the Tablet PC in the field where our customers can utilize its many
features. I believe Qbe Technologies Customer Service will far
surpass that of our competition.

Q) If a reader is planning to make an individual purchase of a tablet
computer within the next six months, why should he choose Qbe and
when should he buy?

A) Because Qbe was one of the first to introduce a Tablet PC to the
market a few years ago, we are actually planning a launch of a third
generation product in a market that has been embraced by companies
such as Microsoft. I again go back to our experience and our
Customer Service. We are smaller than some of the big name companies
that you hear about, but we are big on experience. We also listen to
our customers and can react quickly in an ever-changing industry.

Q) When will Qbe ship a device that runs Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC
Edition (i.e., a Tablet PC that fits Microsoft's hardware spec and
runs the MSFT software)?

A) We have been informed that Microsoft will be delivering the
Windows XP for Tablet PC operating system in October of this year.
We are planning to deliver at the same time.

Q) What technical news can you share with Tablet PC Talk readers that hasn't previously been published elsewhere?

A) Our first Tablet PC will come with an available docking station which provides desktop computing functionality with instant connectivity to keyboard, mouse, desktop peripherals, and the Internet or Local Area Network. It also features an additional battery recharging bay and an internal bay for a CD-ROM or CD-RW drive. Currently, no other tablet PC on the market has a docking station with these capabilities. In addition, our tablet PCs will have the latest in both pen & speech input capabilities and 802.11b connectivity.
Posted Sunday, June 9, 2002 by wmf
Rating: n/a

First Tablet PC Developer Book

Building Tablet PC Applications
by Rob Jarrett, Philip Su
Microsoft Press, 9/25/2002
ISBN: 0735617236

Pre-order at link)
Posted Sunday, June 9, 2002 by ChrisD
Rating: n/a

Tablet PC Design Concepts

Check out the Tablet PC Design Concepts here at Tablet PC Talk!

If you want to see a specific design, feel free to let the manufacturers know about it!
Posted Sunday, June 9, 2002 by ChrisD
Rating: n/a

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