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Summary:

The Microsoft team working on the Tablet PC has started a blog and it looks to be a good source of continuing information about the development of the Tablet PC.  One of the first posts is of particular interest to me as it mentions that one […]

The Microsoft team working on the Tablet PC has started a blog and it looks to be a good source of continuing information about the development of the Tablet PC.  One of the first posts is of particular interest to me as it mentions that one of the team members has installed the WindowsVista Beta 1 on an HP tc1100.  The post also mentions some of the cool new features that WV will offer to the Tablet PC:

    • Check Boxes on Hover. One problem users have had when using a pen is selecting multiple files. Beta 1 introduces a new feature that displays checkboxes when you hover over file icons. In the beta this is off by default but you can turn it on in the Folder Options control panel. Go the the View tab and enable "use check boxes to select" (or something like that). While you are in the Folder Options dialog you should try out "Single click to open an item" on the General tab – this is the same as XP but is definitely the way to go on a tablet.
    • Panning Tool. The mouse wheel was one of the best inventions ever (after the Tablet of course). It allows you to scan up and down web pages with ease. But with the tablet you don’t have a "pen wheel" so you have to carefully target the scroll bar to scoll. And if you are left handed you hand obscures the @^&* page you’re trying to scroll!! …drum roll… enter the Panning Tool in IE, this awesome invention is similar to panning tools in image editing apps, you just grab the page and move it up and down. No more looking away from what you are reading, tapping on the scroll bar… trying to find your place again. This is just a taste of a really really cool feature you’ll see in beta 2. Enough talking about it, panning is only on tablets – a hand icon appears on the IE toolbar, click it to enter panning mode.
    • TIP Features. The extra download TIP is far from the final one we plan to ship but it does have several new features. Let’s start with the edge target – that’s the little tab on the side of the screen that you use to invoke it. Until now, the TIP was either docked at the top or bottom of your screen or floating when you brought it up "in-place". Unfortunately when it was floating it kept going away. Now if you bring it out from the edge target you can put it wherever you want and it will stay ("Stay TIP, good boy"). Getting rid of ink has also been improved, you can either us the eraser on your pen or do pretty much whatever wacky scratch-out you can think of.
    1. “Enough talking about it, panning is only on tablets”

      Does this mean there will be separate versions of Vista OS based on whether or not you want the tablet functionality?

      If so, that probably means MS will be charging Tablet users more.

      That seems like a mistake. Some of the functions, like handwriting recognition, would still be useful on a PC (if for no other reason than to decipher the handwriting a tablet-user sent you). And being able to access tablet functions with a graphics tablet on a desktop system would be a low-cost way to introduce people to tablet PCs (which they would then purchase from then on whenever they bought a laptop, which means it would have to be a Windows Vista laptop as other OSs don’t support tablets so well).

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    2. “Enough talking about it, panning is only on tablets”

      Somehow I think he’s wrong either way. I’ve got Beta1 installed, and I clearly see the panning tool present, heck, I even used it! I love the tool, it’s easy to just click anywhere in the IE window and scroll up/down/left/right, without having to do something else first.

      As the tablet functions are not available in Beta1, I’m not really interested in trying it out on my U. When beta2 comes, I’ll probably toss it on my U in a multi-boot way. Should look cool enough, if the hardware is actually recognised ;).

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    3. Actually, there has never been a separate version of WinXP for the Tablet. The Tablet extensions are a superset on top of the standard WinXP Pro and likely Vista will be the same way. Or, the way some MS people have mentioned publicly, the extensions may just be integrated directly into Vista.

      I don’t know if I’m going to do anything with it at this point but I am downloading the Vista beta 1 as we speak, just in case. :)

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    4. If you decide to test it on your Tablet, I’d like to know if it also includes the tablet features like the TIP. I dont think they will, but we have to be sure ;).

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    5. A lot of the Tablet bits are not available yet but the TIP was made available as a separate download to the WV beta. It seems to work well, from accounts I’ve read.

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