February 2006

Microsoft Origami
For quite some time now the likes of Bill Gates, Chuck Thatcher and others have been hinting at some sort of mini version of the Tablet PC. Last year Gates showed a prototype with a 6-inch screen at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. Go to the Origami website to find out.... not much. But you will, the Flash presentation promises. On March 6th. -- Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006 by chb

Microsoft unveils Vista lineup; Tablet PC folded into some versions
Microsoft announced the product lineup of its upcoming Windows Vista OS, to be released later this year. The lineup consists of six versions, two for businesses, three for consumers, and one for emerging markets: Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Starter. Microsft states, "the lineup is designed to deliver clear value to a broad range of customers, each product tailored to meet specific needs of various segments of customers -- home PC users, small and medium-sized businesses and the largest enterprises -- and is aimed at bringing 64-bit, Media Center and Tablet PC functionality into the mainstream." The Business, Home Premium, and Ultimate versions will contain the Windows Tablet PC technology. -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2006 by chb

Fujitsu-Siemens #1 in TPC sales in EMEA
According to the Computer to Business Review, Fujitsu Siemens sold over 40,000 Tablet PC in the EMEA last year, a big increase over the preceding year, and, with a 50% marketshare, more than anyone else in the region. Fujitsu Siemen's lineup of Tablet PCs is essentially the same as offered in the US. According to IDC, TPCs amounted to 1.5% of all notebook PCs sold worldwide last year, about a million units, with that number expected to hit almost two million this year. IDC also reported that Toshiba led US Tablet PC sales with a 34% share, followed by HP with 24%. Whether those figures include slates is unclear. According to CBR, upcoming ultramobile Tablet PCs just a bit larger than PDAs should broaden the appeal of TPCs. Our take: Maybe, but so would better digitizers, more pen-centric software, and better hinge mechanisms. -- Posted Monday, February 20, 2006 by chb

Toshiba's Portege M400 with optical drive
Toshiba released its third generation Tablet PC convertible, the Portege M400. Like its Portege 3500 and M200 predecessors, the new notebook is an ultra-portable. It comes with a 12.1 inch wide-angle viewing XGA display (1400 x 1050 hi-res optional) and weighs just 4.5 pounds. The big news is the inclusion of a media bay that can accommodate the standard CD-RW/DVD drive, a DVD SuperMulti drive, or a second hard drive. Toshiba also upgraded the hardware with Intel's latest trio of Centrino technology components, including a Core Solo T1300 processor and 802.11a/b/g WiFi. The M400 also gets greatly enhanced security, both in the form of shock protection and via the Trusted Platform Module and a fingerprint reader. Prices start at US$1,699. See our detailed preview of the Toshiba M400. -- Posted Friday, February 10, 2006 by chb

StayinFront CRM solutions on Tablet PCs and PDAs
StayinFront, a provider of enterprise-wide customer relationship management (CRM) applications and decision support tools announced details of the latest release of StayinFront CRM Mobile, which can run as a standalone CRM application or augment an enterprise implementation of StayinFront CRM. Version 9.3 adds features tailored to the needs of remote sales and field workers, including those who rely on PDAs. Organizations can now deploy a broad range of features and functionality in handheld applications for sales and field force automation, customer management, order entry, sample tracking, etc., on a variety of mobile computing hardware supporting Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0. StayinFront CRM Mobile 9.3 also features an enhanced user interface that is task driven and pen optimized, making it ideal for Tablet PCs. StayinFront CRM Mobile supports multiple synchronization technologies including always-on "trickle-mode," timed, and hard connected. -- Posted Monday, February 6, 2006 by chb