Tablets Mightier Than the Keyboard? "Pen computing, as this concept is known, has been catnip to investors and inventors for years, but Silicon Valley is strewn with the corpses of famous disasters. Microsoft's own WinPad and Windows CE devices were expensive flops. The GridPad and the Go Corporation's Eo are distant memories. Apple's Newton rests in pieces. As recently as this year, the innovative I.B.M. TransNote and the Sony Vaio Slimtop Pen Tablet slipped quietly into oblivion.
But Microsoft is confident that this time, it has found the formula for pen-computing success. So confident, in fact, that Bill Gates told a recent trade show crowd, "Within five years, I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.''