Tablet PC News June 21, 2004
Three more days? The expected release for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 is supposedly the 23rd of June. As we patiently wait (with no news from Microsoft), the debate of the future of the Tablet PC platform continues in mainstream news…
Someday, You’ll Own a Tablet PC
Opinion: With tablet support likely becoming a standard part of the Longhorn OS, every Windows-based business notebook will double as a Tablet PC.
There’s been a lot of talk around eWEEK.com about the future of the Tablet PC, so I’ve decided to add my two cents’ worth. My prediction? Someday every business notebook that uses a Microsoft operating system will be a Tablet PC. And most of them will even have tablet features!
Whether you will use your future notebook as a tablet even whether it will be possible to do so with your machine will depend on what you buy and how you choose to use it. But make no mistake: Tablet “goodness” will be baked right in, whether your screen has a digitizer or not. Why? Because it’s very likely that tablet support will be a standard part of the Longhorn OS
In-Stat/MDR: Tablet PC Market Will Remain Partially Successful Until Prices Fall
In-Stat/MDR reports that the Tablet PC has not gained traction in horizontal markets because the price point is out of sync with slow-growing, risk-averse IT spending. It has been successful in vertical markets, such as health care, real estate, and insurance.
The analyst firm’s bottomline is that the effort put forth by Microsoft and its hardware partners to introduce the Tablet PC into horizontal and vertical commercial markets, has only been partly successful.
“Many vertical markets were accustomed to pen-based computing, and saw the Tablet PC as giving them the flexibility of pen-based computing plus access to all software that runs on Microsoft s XP operating system, says Brian O Rourke, a Senior Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. As a result, the vast majority of Tablet PCs that shipped in 2003 went to vertical applications. Within horizontal markets, Tablet PCs are particularly targeted at large enterprises. But, according to O Rourke, With limited IT budgets in the early part of this decade, and forecasts for annual increases in the 3% range over the next four to five years, enterprise IT managers have been hesitant to take a chance on a new PC form factor. However, In-Stat/MDR projects that as Tablet PC prices come down over the next few years, and Tablet PC software offerings increase, interest in horizontal markets will rise. Horizontal markets should start to make an impact on this market in 2005, as average selling prices fall below $2,000 for the first time.
Tablet PC Sales Lagging Among Businesses
The Tablet PC, introduced a couple of years ago with much fanfare by Microsoft, has failed to take off among most businesses, which still question whether the high-priced computers are better than traditional notebooks, a market research firm said Wednesday.
Tablet PC shipments are expected to reach 550,000 units this year, In-Stat/MDR said. In 2002, the first year the device went on sale, less than 100,000 units were sold.
Despite the increase, sales of the Tablet PC remain tiny in comparison to the overall number of personal computers expected to ship this year. Gartner Inc. estimates that number at 186.4 million.
Microsoft, nevertheless, said sales were as expected, given the fact that corporations often take 18 months or more to evaluate hardware before purchasing in large quantities. We know that enterprises have a typically long evaluation period, so our sales and growth momentum is really in line with that (process), Susan Cameron, group product manager for Microsoft’s Tablet PC division, said…