Blog Post

Tablet PC Team Blog Shuts Down

There has been a lot of talk lately about the Microsoft Tablet PC and that fruity pad thing. The banter has rekindled the regret I’ve felt over the years due to the lack of public support for the Tablet from the folks who created it. The fact that Microsoft (s msft) never made a big marketing push to show the world what the platform could uniquely do has long been fodder for long-winded discussions at Tablet PC enthusiast sites.

When Microsoft rolled the Tablet PC bits into Windows Vista it was clear the end of the Tablet PC as a unique product line was near. Tablet talk became Windows feature talk, and the technology became just a small part of the entire Windows landscape. Then Windows 7 rolled out and Tablet became more of a touch thing, instead of a pen thing. This made it clear to me that the end was near, and something I ran across today on the Microsoft Tablet PC team blog drove that belief home.

The assimilation of the one major unique technology from Microsoft into the bowels of the OS is complete. RIP.

16 Responses to “Tablet PC Team Blog Shuts Down”

  1. You’ve got a straw-man argument here. The tablet was never meant to be a separate platform. Adding extra input modalities was a way of enhancing the mobile pc experience. Because of the release timetable for Windows, the Tablet PC edition was rolled out as an OEM extension of Windows XP. ( Since there was no legacy hardware to upgrade there wasn’t a retail edition ).

    The tablet project was incubated separately, but it wasn’t many months after shipping the tablet software pieces before the team started getting absorbed back into the wider Windows team. That was about 7 years ago!

    Touch computing in Windows had to play catch-up to the pen/ink work done early on. Just more possibilities …. it’s not a zero sum game…

  2. MurphysLaww

    I’m pretty sure that MS could have made a $500 tablet that could run Office, silverlight, onenote, hold E-Texts and integrated it into MS Live/Office live to access 20 million potential customers in College in the US alone.

    It’s the students, Stupid !

    They chose not to.

    On to Apple…

    I’m not looking back, but I still think an active digitizer is needed for science/math functions. i don’t know what Wacom charges for them, but I doubt it was the issue with not getting prices down. Dell’s xt, minus the subsidy that Dell gave Ntrig for their not-ready-for-primetime touch screen could have been the answer, as it was a $300 laptop with a $2000 screen. They won’t every recover those engineering $$$, LOL.

  3. Why is everyone acting like the Tablet PC is dead? Instead of being a hacked on extension, pen/touch input is getting embedded into the OS so that those features can work more realiably and better.

    All those who are bemoaning the death of the Tablet PC, you all must have used Windows 7 on your favorite Tablet PCs right? Doesn’t the pen input feel better than before? Panning working better?

    I can’t comment too much cause I haven’t been using a digitizer tablet in a while. I’m gonna blame that wholly on the fact that no one else has come up with a proper digitizer other than Wacom (?) And they’re charging a lot to use their technology on tablets?

  4. Marauderz

    I feel that it’s good that the Tablet/Touch features are rolled into the main OS, so that the CORE OS itself understands that in addition to the mouse there are other forms of interaction that can be performed with it.

    Tablet become more of touch because TOUCH is implemented more widely by the device manufacturers than PEN. We might see a resurgence of the pen if/when price comes down or if someone who is not Wacom manages to make active digitizers that can be integrated into a screen cheaply.

    I’ve jsut gotten the Lenovo S10-3T and Fujitsu UH900 recently, and I really feel that all the work to make touch part of the OS does pay off. And I feel that no matter how crazy it might be, you can actually use most of your apps without a keyboard…

    do you WANT to.. is another question of course.

  5. Recently I blogged a couple demo/concept videos for the Microsoft Courier (because I hadn’t watched them until a few days ago). It clearly had pen input as a major feature. Does anyone know if this project is still going, or is it dead in the water?

  6. A terrible shame. Ink is the only thing still keeping me in the PC Universe. It is a terrific technology in my profession of education, but my personal use has always been at least half for general administration. It is so easy to take notes in a meeting and then file them electronically within One Note–this saves me at least an hour of work each week. Microsoft really missed the boat by not marketing this more effectively.

  7. Convertible tablets will always be a niche product, but as a student, I find the tablet feature on my Gateway C-142 to be invaluable, if only for Onenote. Having instant search through my handwritten notes is a great feature. It’s too bad that Microsoft had to bungle this. Onenote is the only true 1st-party tablet pc showcase, when Word, Excel, and Outlook should have all had tablet-exclusive features. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve opened a spreadsheet and wanted to write a quick value into a cell, only to realize I have to pull that damn tray out and insert the text.
    I guess that Microsoft didn’t have confidence in their tablet brand with all of the so-called “tablets” (slates) coming out. I agree with the recent NYT op-ed. Microsoft has no direction. Instead of promoting a central tablet brand, they’ve had a half-hearted tablet “feature” spread over multiple failed ideas like Origami and Smart Display. Really sad.

  8. The tablet is dead? Hmmmmmm? I’ve been using a Motion Computing 1400 for 2 years with Tablet XP instead of a laptop as I like the ability to use it in portrait position. While the 1400 is no longer in their line, the do have two newer models — 1600 and 1700 — that are used widely in the hospital and medical fields.

    I believe the Sahara line of tablets are almost the same as the Motion computer line.

    Current “tablet laptops” are not the answer as when folded down to use as a tablet, the keyboard cannot be used.

    What will “kill” the tablet computer is not Apple or netbooks but when the computer industry comes up with a laptop where the monitor lid can be moved 90 degrees or make one that the monitor lid is 12 x 12 viewing area.

    It seems that the entire computer industry is stuck on the CRT ratios or, now with HD proportions. However, it is missing the boat by not thinking about how the majority of people use a computer — to read text and look at text on web sites. People read in portrait but what they look out is designed and viewed in landscape.

    So, long live the tablet computer!

  9. The Borg

    Resistance is Futile. You have been successfully assimilated.
    Nice try Earthlings from Redmond, now it is time to step away from your Tablet and let the iPad show the Universe what a proper tablet can and should do.
    Good morning Steve…