A powerless Widows tablet was later shown
Codename Mite, I presume?
Dell has unveiled a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet that it'll layer in next to its collection of Android fondleslabs. On Tuesday, the world's third-largest PC maker showed – briefly – what looked like a mock-up of a planned Windows 7 tablet, coming in the next 30 to 40 days, to press and analysts in San Francisco. Dell's Windows 7 …
At last it'll be possible to see equivalent fondle slabs to compare like with like. Will the WinSlab be any use; will it have any battery life; will the user interface work without a pen...? Then compare that with the AndroidSlab, maybe even the iPad.
I'm so looking forwards to Android and iOS developing out of the tablet arena and into desktop machines. For normal lightweight use, one just doesn't need the complexity of the big desktop operating systems. Sure, for 'power users', but not casual use that most 'puters are put to.
It's the apps that set the slabs apart from their bigger cousins.
> Will the WinSlab be any use; will it have any battery life; will the user interface work without a pen...?
For what it's worth, my daughter has one of those fold-over tablet PCs running Windows 7. It works either with pen or with fingers, but it has two modes -- "pen" and "finger" that you have to switch between. There's a widget to do the switching.
For casual usage, she keeps it in "finger" mode, and switches to "pen" mode when she's drawing (which is what we bought it for).
...so it can be done.... It just depends on what Dell decides to do.
Speaking of which, in the grand tradition of code reuse, Windows 7 "tablet edition" is just a rebranding of several Accessibility tools that have been around, like, forever. The paradigm is exactly the same Windows paradigm you've been using since 1995. You'll need to learn the gesture for "right mouse button" and how to invoke the On-Screen Keyboard, which pops up at some random spot on the screen and usually has to be moved to see what you're typing. It provides no feedback and you'll find it's nearly useless for typing passwords.
Windows Home Edition Standard does not have multi-touch support. I think you need at least Home Premium. We're running Pro. Multi-touch is pretty much confined to resizing. Hopefully other gestures will be supported in the future.
The tablet also has a handwriting recognition tool but it's not clear to me whether this is a Microsoft or vendor addition. The tool is interesting in an arcade game sort of way, but not really something you'd want to write a novel with. Or even a memo.
The browser doesn't work any differently and you'll find yourself wanting at least a mouse if you're doing any serious surfing.
If the purpose of your fondleslab is to run a particular application that *does* have decent touch support, you'll probably be fine. But if you have to do anything serious with the OS, you'd better have an external keyboard/mouse or you're in for a very frustrating experience.
In summary, based on what I've seen so far, the big market for Windows 7 tablets (as in the article) will be companies that have been sold on the idea that they're cheaper than ipad or android to integrate and support in your typical all-Microsoft enterprise environment.
On the other hand, I am really curious about the new Intel Oaktrail Atoms. If indeed it will be based on one of these (the Z6xx series) - it will be interesting to see if the power savings are really up to the hype. Say (theoretically, or wishfully) that the power consumption is cut by about 40% compared to current Atoms of the N4xx series - this will mean that a 6 cell pack should last a *real* 10 hours of work. This would be good news - because it would mean a real hackable device, on which one can install a *proper* Linux and have all the *real* apps they are used to. Even if it means I have to use a pen - at least I would have a tablet format computing device which doesn't tie me in to their farty app stores - I can upgrade and update as and when I please - and use software and peripherals designed for people who want to do some work - not just show off at the pub.
Done ranting now. You can take your fingers out of your years.
"...that's the end of Dell's Android tablets then. MS will simply not allow Dell to ship non-Windows units (not without swingeing penalties at any rate)."
1) MS isn't going to be so blatently obvious with their anti-competitive practices now.
2) Windows doesn't (yet) run on the ARM chips that the Android tablets are living on, so not much for MS to complain about besides competeting hardware (which MS doesn't make [yet] in the first place).
MS does not "gamble" on success it buys it.
Looked at logically it needed to have a high profile Windows adoption from a make someone has heard of.
I've always found it ironic that having worked so hard to kill pen computing in the early 90's (good job Bill) MS should keep trying to revive it.
MS is a jealous god and I suspect other posters views that Dell will only be allowed to sell Windows hosted tablets is likely.
It will be interesting to see equal sized tablets running different OS's face off.
When this is areal product.
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