October 2003

Running X Servers on Tablet PCs
Can you run Linux on a Tablet PC? Of course, but you'd lose all that cool pen functionality of the XP Tablet PC Edition. However, you can use X Server software to access your Linux desktop and all Linux apps via a Tablet PC. Read Pen Computing's detailed feature and review of three leading X Server products. [click here] -- Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2003 by chb

Living with the HP TC1000
Read how Pen Computing Editor-at-Large David MacNeill feels about his HP TC1000 Tablet PC. [click here] -- Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2003 by chb

Motion gains momentum
According to IDC's second quarter 2003 tracking of Tablet PC sales, the top five companies in the worldwide Tablet PC market are Toshiba (25.1%), HP (23.1%), Fujitsu (17.9%), Acer (17.4%) and Motion Computing (5.8%). Motion of Austin, Texas, claims it is the only Tablet PC maker with sequential quarterly unit sales gains, and that the company has over 10% of the market for Tablet PC slates. Given that Motion's primary competitor in the slate market, Fujitsu, has been in the pen computing business since its very beginnings, Motion's performance is impressive indeed. -- Posted Monday, October 6, 2003 by chb

Tablet PC a money-losing proposition?
A representative from the IDG News Service is the latest to report on various woes of the Tablet PC effort. This one centers on Acer saying that it loses money on the Tablet PC. The chief officer of Acer's notebook dvision, Campbell Kan, said that Acer is currently selling between 8,000 and 10,000 Tablet PCs a month, as opposed to the 20,000 to 30,000 it had hoped. Asked for reasons, Kan reverted to the oft-voiced criticisms: A) High prices. B) Lack of compelling applications. C) Microsoft not helping with the marketing.

Well, this being a news item it isn't the place to comment, but here we go: A) Yes, they are too expensive. That's because of low volume, extra component costs, and the resulting higher production price. B) Yes, there are very few compelling applications. I was a judge in Microsoft's Tablet PC software development contest and saw very little that excited me. C) Yes, for a company that stashes away a billion a month in cash, yes, Microsoft does a decidedly ho-hum job marketing the Tablet PC. We offered to do a Tablet PC Magazine for Microsoft at a very low cost to them. Microsoft was not interested. We cover and promote Tablet PC in every issue of Pen Computing Magazine. Total Microsoft support in 24 months? Two small ads. However, there's more: Tablet PCs generally already lag a generation or two behind standard notebooks. Not good. And Acer, to be honest, squandered a big early lead by never really fixing that heavily criticized screen hinge of their initial product.
-- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2003 by chb