8.1. What Has Happened Since to Tablet PCs

8.1.1. What Has Happened Since to Tablet PCs

As I write this in late 2008, Tablet PCs are still being produced, with new models released by many manufacturers along with traditional laptops.

However, no special general-purpose software seems to have caught people's attention to the extent of being a "killer application" that drives huge sales of Tablet PCs. (The spreadsheet, for example, was an early personal computer killer application.) At least one of Microsoft's products tuned to work well with Tablet PCs, OneNote, is quite popular.

What has happened, though, is that the Tablet PCs have become popular in various vertical applications, such as for data collection, medical-office use, etc. Microsoft continues to invest in the technology and has been maintaining the tablet-related capabilities of its general Windows operating system.

Part of the reason for the low amount of new innovation in the Tablet PC area, I believe, is related to the fact that most entrepreneurial software development money has been spent in the online and mobile areas. Browsing software does not, in general, have additional features for pen interaction, and there are not enough Tablet PCs to satisfy the "make it up in the volume" business plans of many Web 2.0 companies.

Another reason for the lack of adoption of Tablet PCs is that one of the initial driving uses for them was as computing devices we carry around. When sitting on a desk, with a vertical screen, ...

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