Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Q&A: Inside the Next Version of the Tablet PC Operating System

Q&A: Inside the Next Version of the Tablet PC Operating System: "PressPass: From the perspective of an end-user, how is the Tablet PC experience of a year ago different from the experience today?
Mitchell: The first thing that all users will see is the deeper support for pen input across the entire operating system and in all Windows-based applications. Regardless of whether they have a convertible, slate or hybrid Tablet PC, users can now more easily insert text with a pen. If they are on a slate and they tend to spend more time with recognition, we have brought a new level of handwriting-recognition intelligence to the Tablet PC operating system. For instance, we use context to more accurately understand what is being written. It's much like we use context when we're talking to each other to disambiguate what we mean when we use, for instance, acronyms like 'PC.' Does that mean 'personal computer' or 'politically correct?' When a user enters an Internet address via a pen, the software interprets the context and recognizes it as an Internet address. This makes for a more efficient and natural end-user experience.
So the improvements in ink and handwriting recognition are probably the two biggest benefits. If your language is East Asian and you write using characters, we think you'll see dramatic improvements in the user interface as well, mostly again for entering text. It's cumbersome to type many Asian languages, so improving the way those customers can use digital ink is a significant improvement. And across the board, you'll see the benefits poking through to all Windows-based applications where some of the low-level operating system functionality is used."
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