Tablet Adoption A little more than a year after the release of Microsoft Corp.s Tablet PC platform, officials from Toshiba and Acer said theyve seen growing interest in and larger purchases of tablets by nonvertical organizations. Sales divisions, for example, are big consumers of the form factor, they said.While weight and mobility are always concerns for road warriors, vendors said desktop replacements with large displays and ample power remain in demand. IBM officials, for example, said the companys ThinkPad G Series and R Series desktop replacement notebooks appeal most to users who want to migrate from a desktop system to mobile platforms while maintaining processing power. Power users who require the latest and greatest in system performance will turn to hardware in the high-end desktop category. This includes PCs built around 64-bit processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and IBM. The 64-bit processors have more power and address space, but they also feature improvements in memory use and I/O capability. And, most important to enterprise buyers, they allow backward compatibility with the 32-bit world. Finally, two of the Corporate Partners who participated in the Roundtable said that monitors are much slower to die these days but that when they do, flat panels are often the replacement form factor of choice. Indeed, as price points for flat-screen monitors begin to drop, vendors said theyre seeing an increase in interest for the space savers. Executives at Dell said the technology in flat-panel monitors is getting to the point where the refresh rates are almost equivalent to those found in CRT monitors. Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum
The release last year of Microsofts Office 2003, which includes enhanced capabilities for the Tablet PC, is also a driver for tablet adoption. Organizations that require or desire pen-based input capabilities will want to consider the benefits of tablet-optimized programs such as Microsofts Office 2003 and OneNote as they make their purchasing decisions. Microsofts plans to release the second version of its XP Tablet PC operating system in mid-2004 should also generate buzz among buyers.