It is being announced at PDC05 that OEMs will be allowed to ship Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (aka Lonestar) on their touch-enabled tablets. Why is this significant? Because a lot of our user audience (and some potential users) have asked for touch input for a while now. Why has it taken til now to get this done? *shrug* I don’t know.
For those who don’t know much about Tablet PCs, at present all models must use "active" digitisers, which work only with special pens. The huge advantage of this is that you can rest your hands on the screen without a huge blotch of ink splurging all over it – which means it’s much more like writing on paper.
However, the problem with this is that these digitizers are expensive, and you need that special pen – lose it, and you better have a spare or you’re stuck with an expensive laptop.
And what this opens up is the smaller end of the market. Imagine a tiny machine, the size of an old Newton, but running a full-blown copy of Windows.