Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 is on Its Way!

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Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 is on Its Way!

In the second half of 2004, Microsoft plans to officially launch the second major release of its Windows XP Tablet PC Edition OS.  With this new version, consumers can expect a significantly more functional operating system to make the investment in a Tablet PC truly pay off.

The first version of the Tablet PC has been a blessing to many users, but a disappointment to others.  Much positive feedback regarding the utility and functionality of the devices has been substantiated, yet equaled by criticisms of the crudeness and limitations in functionality as well.  The most common complaints seem to center around the handwriting recognition limitations and the lack of Tablet PC support by many popular applications.  I think it’s best to chalk this up the first version being more or less an “early adopter technology”.

Thanks to the feedback of the folks who took a chance on the first generation of Tablet PC’s, the second generation seems to offer significant promise for real world, mainstream offerings.  From busy c-level executives to doctors, teachers, artists, students and general home users, this second generation of the Tablet PC OS should make for a whole new computing experience; an experience that will open unlimited utility in offering the “power of the pen”.

The following information regarding the new release has been announced by Microsoft:



Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 will be available to you as a free upgrade if you already own a Tablet PC, and it will come installed on any new Tablet PC hardware unit purchased in the second half of 2004.


New Features

Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 more tightly integrates the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) into the flow of your activities. This new version incorporates support for an In Place TIP, which will open anywhere on the page when the pen is recognized similar to how a mouse is recognized on a desktop computer monitor. As you move around the page, the TIP will travel with you, placing the tool wherever you need it.

The In Place TIP also provides an interface that will be easier to use. The TIP will automatically grow in size as you reach the end of each line, allowing you to more easily input multiple lines of ink.

An advanced feature for error correction in the TIP will enable you to see your handwriting converted to text on the fly. You can make revisions to it before inserting it into your document, improving the ink-to-text conversion experience.

You will also benefit from the use of context-sensitive recognition when you input certain text. With this new feature, Web site URLs or e-mail addresses will be recognized more easily and accurately.


Better Integration with Applications Such as Office 2003 and OneNote

Integration gives you a way to increase your productivity with the applications you use every day. You can annotate anywhere in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint , and send handwritten e-mail in Microsoft Outlook . Using Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 on the Tablet PC brings together ink, text, and Web content all in one application.


New Platform for Developers

The Tablet PC SDK 1.7 creates a rich environment for developing new ink-enabled applications. Tablet PC SDK 1.7 extends context-sensitive support into tools that help you tag for context in specific fields in customized forms-based solutions. For instance, you might be able to build the context for “U.S. states” into a field in a forms-based application, so ink input in that field will be limited to the 50 U.S. states. This feature dramatically improves recognition results for users.

You also benefit from new ink support for Web applications in the latest software development kit, allowing Web-based applications, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or timesheet systems, to support ink input for mobile users.


In addition to what is mentioned here, many users and “soon to be” users will be thrilled to know that several downloads offering Tablet PC support for applications such as Office XP and MSN Messenger are now available at Microsoft’s website.  Many other great 3rd party offerings just for Tablet PC users from FranklinCovey, Corel and Zinio are also available for download as well. 

As the new Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition 2004 is launched, we are sure to see many exciting new hardware offerings coming from the Tablet manufacturers.  Lighter, more energy efficient and lower cost Tablets will definitely make there way to retailers and surely into your hands within the next few months.  Please check back with us here at often to stay up to date! 

Barry J. Doyle




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