Microsoft Announces the Next Version of the Tablet PC Operating System

One-Year Anniversary Is Marked by New Hardware and Software, Growing Customer Adoption
Today at COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced Windows(R) XP Tablet PC Edition 2004, the latest version of its Tablet PC operating system. The new version features deep integration of pen support in Windows XP, making it easier to create text anywhere in Windows and familiar Windows applications. In addition to recently announced tools in the Tablet PC SDK that enable them to create pen-aware Web pages, the new operating system now offers software developers a rich set of capabilities to deliver innovative software applications based on the Tablet PC platform.
The announcement of Tablet PC Edition 2004 caps the Tablet PC’s first year, which has been marked by continued growth in the number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent service vendors (ISVs) supporting the platform, an ever-expanding number of customer pilot deployments, and the first corporate deployments of the Tablet PC as a next- generation notebook PC.
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, in announcing Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 at his annual COMDEX keynote address last evening, noted that Tablet PCs are experiencing increasing support from all segments of the PC industry.
“Forty companies are designing and manufacturing Tablet PCs worldwide, and more than 120 are developing software that takes advantage of the pen capabilities in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition,” he said. Gates demonstrated a line-of-business application developed by Nationwide Insurance and Financial Services, which is making Tablet PCs a standard supported mobile computer platform for all employees who need mobile PCs. “We’re also seeing great early purchases and deployments of Tablet PCs in several major vertical markets, including healthcare, financial services and education,” Gates said.

My spin: I reviewed Gateway’s Table PC several months ago. I still say now what I said then – it’s a great tool but mainly for vertical industries.