Toshiba and Microsoft Plan to Boost Tablet PC Adoption

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Toshiba and Microsoft Plan to Boost Tablet PC Adoption

Editor’s Note:  According to IDC Research, notebook computer sales have actually beat out Tablet PC’s at a ratio of 100 to 1 making Tablet PC’s account for only 0.5% of the PC market.  I have often made suggestions that this is primarily due to the high cost of  Tablet PC’s vs. notebooks (Averatec has fixed that with its $1300 stunning C3500), the lack of  a practical user-centric OS with decent handwriting recognition (fixed with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005) and finally a mainstream advertising campaign.

We have all seen commercials on T.V. for Microsoft Office, Intel’s Centrino Processor and constant ads for Dell marketing initiatives (have you seen the college kids knocking over their Dell’s on the tube lately?).  Hell, even my relatives in a N.E.town of 500 in Pennsylvania know what “Centrino” means.  Ask them about the Tablet PC.  Betcha maybe 1 or 2 out of the 500 (the ones that own the local computer repair shop) actually know.

If the Tablet PC is going to catch on in the consumer market (just as the Pocket PC did), then changes by Microsoft and hardware manufacturers will no doubt need to take place.  According to a recent report by the Computer Business Review Online, it appears that Toshiba and Microsoft plan to do just that.  By learning from the “mistakes” that other Tablet PC manufacturers such as Acer have made in the past, the duo have organized a new plan:

 
 
Toshiba plans to rejuvenate tablet PC market
 
Toshiba Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are working on plans to rejuvenate the market for tablet PCs following sluggish sales over the last two years.

3 Sep 2004, 09:32 GMT –

“The tablet PC is not necessarily accepted by the consumer market because it is expensive and they don’t know how to use that [functionality],” said Toshiba PC and Network Company president and CEO, Atsutoshi Nishida, neatly summarizing two of the biggest barriers to tablet PC take-up.

Research firm IDC has predicted that only about one million tablet PCs will ship during 2004, representing less that 0.5% of the overall PC market. Meanwhile, Canalys said notebooks outsold tablets by a factor of 100 to one across EMEA in the second quarter.

A lack of applications has also been blamed by Toshiba competitor Acer Inc. for poor tablet PC sales, while features such as handwriting recognition, the use of digital ink to capture handwriting as images inside documents, as well as voice annotation and voice recognition, are seen to push up the price.

“We need to reduce costs,” said Nishida, adding that Tokyo, Japan-based Toshiba is working with Microsoft on plans to increase the acceptance of tablet PCs next year. The introduction of Windows XP Tablet PC 2005 Edition will help, he said, while revealing that Toshiba has plans to take use of Organic LED displays to remove the need for a backlight and reduce power consumption.

Nishida was less forthcoming on how Toshiba and Microsoft will reduce the cost of tablet PCs and boost user adoption…

Link to full story:  http://www.cbronline.com/article_news.asp?guid=0C5BE7CD-9FCE-401C-93E5-5879B8C5FE9E

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