Inside Scoop: New “Mini Tablet PC” Coming to Market?
Convertible or Slate? Wait, you may have yet another option to throw in the mix. Sources say that Microsoft is working with a new form-factor Tablet PC “a type of hybrid Tablet PC/eBook” that “can do everything that a traditional Tablet PC can do, plus store electronic books, that could end up as the new gadget on which Microsoft is betting to further Tablet PC momentum.”
Hmm. Now where did Microsoft get the “Mini” idea? LOL!
Further details suggest that the device which measures a modest “six inches by eight inches and features a digitizer, is just one of a number of new Tablet form factors expected to debut in the coming months.”
Let’s have some fun with this one! Hear are a few ideas running through my head:
1. Death to the Pocket PC soon?
These devices are already overpriced if you ask me. It’s getting to the point where you can buy a nice 12″ Averatec notebook for the same price as an iPAQ. An “ugly” one at that LOL. (If you have followed the iPAQ product line, you know what I am talking about. Once upon a time they were thin, sleek and dowright sexy. Now? Blahhh). So if this “Mini Tablet” came to market and was a price contender with the Pocket PC – Uhh I would say seeya later iPAQ.
2. Less Death to trees?
I LOVE reading ebooks on my Palm and Pocket PC. But I have to admit it can be hard on the eyes over long periods. I would be absolutely ecstatic to see a larger device to read on. And one that actually ran the Tablet PC OS? Now you’re talking! Who want’s to sit and read ebooks on their desktop computer or laptop? This “Mini-Tablet” could revitalize the ebook market.
3. Death to Palm?
Oooh. Ouch. I would hate to see that. However this is a good chance to tell you that “a little bird” straight from the source told me that we might see a larger “Tablet-like” device running Palm OS 6 (Cobalt). Nice. Could be a “lifesaver”. The nice thing about such device that is powered by the Palm OS, it would most likely feature and “instant on” with no boot up required. But If the market shifted to this new “Mini Tablet” it could bring some hurting to the whole PDA market including palmOne (I hope not).
4. Death threats to me?
Well maybe. There are definately some passionate iPAQ users who are probably mad at me for talking crap about there $400-$600 investments. But c’mon they are overpriced and ugly! LOL
Alright, enough meaningless banter. If I keep it up, they’ll fire me for sure! There is a story here:
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Tablet PC: The Next Generation?
By Mary Jo Foley
Could the hottest new Tablet form factor end up being a mini Tablet/eBook hybrid? Microsoft seems to be betting on it. First it was the slate. Then it was the PC-Tablet convertible. Now it’s a mini-Tablet that can do everything that a traditional Tablet PC can do, plus store electronic books, that could end up as the new gadget on which Microsoft is betting to further Tablet PC momentum. A prototype of a new device described by sources as a type of hybrid Tablet PC/eBook has been making its way around the Microsoft Redmond campus, according to sources. The mini-Tablet, which measures about six inches by eight inches and features a digitizer, is just one of a number of new Tablet form factors expected to debut in the coming months.
Microsoft introduced the Tablet PC concept in 2000. The first units running the Tablet-PC-specific variant of Windows XP began shipping in 2002. According to Microsoft, the millionth Tablet PC was sold in February, 2005.
Microsoft has been criticized, by even some of its closest Tablet allies, for trumpeting the Tablet’s arrival, but then failing to follow through with adequate marketing. Some said Microsoft has been compounding the problem by delivering conflicting messages about the future of the Tablet operating system.
The new hybrid Tablet/eBook device may be Microsoft’s attempt to reinvigorate interest in the Tablet. The new system allegedly is a pet project of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
Gates could show off the hybrid prototype during his keynote at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) on April 25, according to sources.
Microsoft isn’t outright denying the existence of such a device.
“Microsoft’s OEM partners are working on a variety of form factors exploring the complete mobile experience,” said a Tablet PC spokesman. He declined to say anything further about the alleged device.
Link to full story: Tablet PC: The Next Generation