Someday, Youll Own a Tablet PC

Opinion: With tablet support likely becoming a standard part of the Longhorn OS, every Windows-based business notebook will double as a Tablet PC.

Theres been a lot of talk around about the future of the Tablet PC, so Ive decided to add my two cents worth. My prediction? Someday every business notebook that uses a Microsoft operating system will be a Tablet PC. And most of them will even have tablet features!

Whether you will use your future notebook as a tablet—even whether it will be possible to do so with your machine—will depend on what you buy and how you choose to use it. But make no mistake: Tablet "goodness" will be baked right in, whether your screen has a digitizer or not. Why? Because its very likely that tablet support will be a standard part of the Longhorn OS.

And as we move toward Longhorn, Microsoft is investing a lot of money in hardware technology to persuade notebook manufacturers to make tablet features a standard part of their notebooks. Microsofts goal is to push the marketplace rather than wait for evolution to popularize tablet technology.

/zimages/6/28571.gifIs there trouble in Tablet Land? Click here for Microsoft Watchs Mary Jo Foleys take.

Redmond wants tablet technology to work well enough and be inexpensive enough that customers wont give a second thought to buying a Tablet PC. Even the special name will go away as todays Tablet PC morphs into being "just" the notebooks we all buy.

Next page: How the Tablet PC has improved.