Peter Loforte - What is a Tablet PC doing when someone writes on the screen?

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Peter Loforte, general manager of the Tablet PC group, discusses what technically is happening when you put your pen on the digitizer, and what API's are available for developers to use.

Discussion of the Tablet PC SDK.

Any developers here who are trying to use the Tablet PC? How can we help?

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      siri

      Is there any convercence between Pocket PC and Tablet PC going on?  Will there be?  It seems to me that many of the APIs are useful across both platforms...I am doing Pocket PC development in the near future, and wondering whether I can plan/design to be able to extend more easily to tablet later.

      Also...does MS have plans for the physical convergence of the devices?  I think OQO (oqo.com) is a bit ahead of the curve (almost premature) on this, but I see it as where the PDA and Tablet industry is headed...

    • User profile image
      dotnetjeff
      Tsk, tsk, tsk. Siri, don't you know Paul Allen backs the Vulcan FlipStart Smiley. I'm embarking on a journey into the .NET Compact Framework soon, but I have done no Tablet PC development as of yet. All this talk of EM Digitizers and Z-Axis Screen Sensitivity ("/wisp-tisp/" if I heard it right) is really cool and makes my daily WinForms development tasks seem all too mundane. I'll have to substitute Tontie (on breaks) for Tablet PC development excitement until I get there.
    • User profile image
      lars
      Are there any good examples on how applications use the Z-axis (depth) in a useful way?

      /Lars.
    • User profile image
      charliechau
      Hi,

      How can I use the publish winform with the ink option web.

      Have you had API webform for ink yet?

      Thanks,
      CC
    • User profile image
      Lora
      siri said:

      Is there any convercence between Pocket PC and Tablet PC going on?  Will there be? 

      Also...does MS have plans for the physical convergence of the devices?  I think OQO (oqo.com) is a bit ahead of the curve


      I'm glad to see that you're picking up on the usefulness of digital ink and portability beyond just a fixed form factor. I've heard this question about the Tablet and Pocket PC APIs posed to the Microsoft Tablet PC team several times now, and each time they answer simply, "not at this time." I have a feeling that these questions have lead to some discussions though.

      I also appreciate the fact that you see the lower end PC hardware meld into higher end Pocket PC range and that there does appear to be overlap in potential capabilities. But keep in mind that the higher end mobile PC products will continue to evolve at a fairly fast pace over the next couple of years.

      Let's break the progression down and look at just the next 6 months. Potentially, we can expect to see 4 categories of mobile products:

      1. SmartPhones / Pocket PC Phones for instant communication - your central communication center, if you will; 

      2. Pocket PCs with Windows Mobile 2003 used in work environments that require a small scale, light use situation (quick data / small forms / quick sketches) -- and here is where the potential for ink improvement is great;

      3. Hybrids that will essentially be large Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile 2003 but may have a 12" display and keypad and then the opposite with PCs with 8.4" display, touchscreen, and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition; and

      4. Tablet PCs for a fully functional PC with the addition of ink and speech recognition. Useful for large scale or multiple, simultaneous projects.

      It's quite a range of products to offer to clients and such diversity with only 2 operating systems at that. The upside is by increasing the variety of hardware products, the uses can actually be specialized even more.

      Now, specifically in terms of OQO, it is a product to watch. They do have some serious issues to address in terms of price point ($2000), market, hardware, and OS (XP Pro). Theoretically, it should be a good product to use Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. They're still making design changes, though someday they'll actually have to jump in and produce a product. Time is ticking and other products are advancing rapidly. Now, the Vulcan FlipStart (with XP Pro) doesn't have an active digitizer / digital pen / Windows XP Tablet PC Edition because of interference and power issues. I understand they are trying to fix that though. Both of these fit nicely into that hybrid category.

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