It appears some devices have cameras some don't, so you already have fragmentation in the market; which is such a silly idea. What is the mimimum spec for MS to be happy having a machine branded under the Origami "label"?
General specs for the UMPC cateogory are:
7" screen size or smaller
Native display resolution of 800x480, with 800x600 and 1024x600 via scaling
Intel or VIA moble x86 processor (Intel Celeron M, Pentium M or Via C7-M)
30GB to 60GB+ standard notebook hard drive
Multiple input methods: touch screen, pen, button controls, keyboard (option via USB or Bluetooth)
Weighs under 2lbs
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (Windows Vista when released)
Where is the best place to get a hands on outside CEBIT? (Mix06?) When will I be able to get one in the UK? Does the 360 know about these devices as a result of the last 360 software update? (What happens when you plug it in to a 360?) How long before we see an example of integration with 360 games? Have I bought into the hype enough?
Yes, working on getting them to Mix06. Product will start shipping between April and June. Distribution is worldwide for some OEMs and regional for others.
JK - I really liked your blog post. I saw it the other day when Layne, Loren, Evan and some others linked over to it. It'd be great if Sony offers Tablet PC Edition 2005 as a purchase option.
I'm curious how many people are interested in Tablet mods. We've been talking about a Tablet Event for pre-CES time period and have Tablet mods listed as a session. Anyone interested, please feel free to add ideas to the
Channel9 Tablet PC Event wiki.
Jelle - carbon copy helped us make duplicate copies of pieces of paper, Xerox machines were an improvement over mimeograph, typing a document on a computer was the next step for improving efficiency of creating multiples and storage and yet we still use
tons of paper So, what do we use that paper for? Forms, notes, drawings, sketches, brainstorming, and many other "parts of processes". Adding a pen to a computer is one way of capturing that ink information and allowing us to store, search, and create more
copies / distribute or change when needed.
Pen technology, or digital pens like Anoto technology, take a different approach. Yes, they compete with basic things like entering a date into Outlook. It is also a secondary product - an after market product. The capabilities of these digital pens has caught
consumer attention, yet has not had as great an impact as ink capabilities throughout the PC operating system as Windows XP Tablet PC Edition has.
Will one displace the other? Right now Tablet PCs are in the lead in terms of breadth of capabilities. Potentially, digital pens could compete more directly, but they are in another league right now. Perhaps in the future we might see a different level of convergence
between the design approaches.
That may be an intersting thing to do with menus - if you are left handed or select left handed mouse, should the menus align to the right instead? May look a bit odd, but would it work? I wonder what it would be like if everything was swapped round (title
right aligned, minimise, maximise and close on left hand side, notification area on left, start menu on right etc)?
Yes, when you turn a Tablet PC on for the first time a Getting Started guide comes up with instructions on how to calibrate the pen and make personal adjustments. One of these adjustments is right/ left hand selection. The menus will fly in different directions
then. You can also drag the start menu to the left side of the screen to have a quicker vertical access to info. Susan had hers in the default position.
Of course, some people who write with their left hand hook their left hand around to write in attempt to form letters as they would if using right hand -- this is what Susan was referring to when she said in school her hand used to smear the ink when writing
& using spriral notebooks. I have a feeling though, she was just hooking her hand in the demo so the camera could have a clear view I do this too when showing other people Tablet PC features -- compromise my own comfort so they can have a full view of the
You know when you move a mouse from point A to point B, you can see the cursor track that whole distance. With a Tablet PC, you can lift the pen - as Susan was going - and then you don't see that drag. On pen lift the cursor stops, move to point B and cursor
appears at point B. It looked to me like she was touching off the area to change the selection point (like when she moved off the Program list to the desktop). Again, I think it's was just the way she was using it to demo the app, not necessarily a software
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.
SuperRob - I'm curious as to what your artist friends would want designed differently. You interchanged digitizer and the resolution. These are two separate hardware issues.
1) If you haven't already, you might want to watch to Michael Tsang - How does Tablet PC's digitizer work? The digitizer is collecting information from the pen at 133 samples per second. The pen coordinate and pressure sensitivity can be collected. The slower the pen moves the more information
colleected. The digitizers are capable of collecting angle too, but that is turned off right now (OEM choice). Now, developers can choose to do wide range of things with this data. Coupled with direct eye-hand coordination for improved accuracy and precision,
the improvements is considerable over previous products (even if using graphics tablet like Cintiq). So if your artist friends aren't seeing the result they want, it might be related to the type of software they were playing with. I'd be curious what they
Alias Sketchbook Pro, which uses this digital ink (versus pixels). My guess is they want improved ink in a wider variety of drawing / animation applications. I can see how today it will depend on type of art too. (See what
Rory is doing by adding simple cartoons to his blog.) Did they share better detail of what they want with you? It might be helpful to others to know.
That said, I hope Tablet PCs don't compete with oils, watercolors, and charcoals. I like texture (though
ArtRage flirts with creating the appearance of texture.
Art samples.) But in terms of computer art media, a greater range and quality level is possible than before. This is a good thing.
2) Resolution is a totally separate issue. Most Tablet PCs currently use XGA display (1024x768 for primary portrait mode). The Toshiba Portege M200 uses SXGA+ so they can have more screen real estate. (Factors like screen size, aspect ratio, etc impact visual
perception too.) It would be nice to have UXGA resolution on a Tablet PC, but we don't have that yet (ooooh, and those icons would be tiny!)
Just like I said before... we all want more now Anyway, hope this helps a little. Can't help you with your handwriting I assume you have this same issue with a piece of paper too. There are writing tips to improve how you can use a Tablet PC/ graphics
digitizer for word recognition. You brought up good issues that I'm sure many people wonder about. Thanks!