Microsofts Tablet PCMaybe Next Year
Microsoft's forthcoming tablet operating system is not so much a new operating system as it is Windows XP with even more stuff, hence its official name: Windows XP Tablet Edition.Talk about tablet computers has been de rigueur for at least 10 yearsmaybe more, if you count some of the Tandy TRS-80 junkies out there. But this time, were a tiny bit closer to reality; in other words, weve finally evolved beyond the failed concept of the Momentawhich was, once upon a time, the most-hyped machine since Apples Lisa. I once owned a Momenta "tablet PC." The beast sat in my leaky garage for nearly a year, proving that mold grows quite well on vinyl and plastic. The most I can say for it is that it was more productive as a science experiment than as a PC.
The old Momenta, which seemed chic at the time, is about the same size as a general-issue, fully functional notebook2.5 inches thick, 12 inches wide, weighing 7 pounds. It was powered by a 386SX with 4MB of RAM and was excruciatingly slow, even back then. So whats different about these new devices? The first thing is that Microsoft is working on a general-purpose tablet PC design. The second is that tablets are being designed as evolutions of notebook computers, not as entirely new designs. Third, there are alternatives.