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Microsoft Announces Availability of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005

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Microsoft today announced availability of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 operating system, the successor to Windows XP Tablet PC Edition introduced in November 2002.

Included as part of Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (Windows XP SP2) with Advanced Security Technologies, this free upgrade offers Tablet PC users deeper pen-and-ink support including a redesigned input panel to create and enter text anywhere within Windows XP and familiar Windows XP-compatible applications.

“Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 is a significant step toward delivering on our vision of incorporating Tablet PC functionality as a standard mobile feature in notebook PCs,” said Bill Mitchell, corporate vice president of the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft. “The long-term commitment by Microsoft and our partners continues to deliver innovative new hardware and software, unlocking new ways and new places to use the mobile PC.”

New features of the operating system include the following:

— In-place tablet input panel (in-place TIP). With the in-place TIP, a user can tap on an input box with the stylus to see an orange TIP Access button. By tapping on the TIP Access button, the Tablet PC input panel opens up directly below the input area. This approach is more intuitive and enables more rapid text input with the stylus pen. Because the in-place TIP is part of the operating system, it works seamlessly across the entire Windows operating system and in any Windows XP-based application.

— Real-time recognition. The real-time recognition feature uses Microsoft handwriting recognition technology to convert handwritten words to text, letting a user preview the conversion before it’s sent and inserted into the text block. The input area also automatically adds space for an additional line when a user approaches the end of a text line, making the input of large amounts of text easier than before.

— In-place correction. With in-place correction, a user can manually correct any handwriting conversion mistakes before the text is inserted into the text block. A list of alternatives includes recommended alternate words, correct individual letters or numbers.

— Contextual awareness. With contextual awareness, rules can be added for how handwriting should be recognized in certain text fields. For example, a rule can stipulate that entering data in a postal code field will only generate numbers as an outcome. A user can quickly write a postal code, and the operating system will not confuse “Z” with “2″ or “S” with “5.” This feature can be applied to nearly any Windows XP-based application, enabling people to have an easier, faster and more accurate input experience when entering text.

— New platform for developers. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Software Development Kit 1.7, the software development kit (SDK) for the new Tablet PC operating system, creates a rich environment for developing new ink-enabled applications. Tablet PC SDK 1.7 extends context-sensitive support in tools that help users tag for context in specific fields for customized forms-based solutions. Users also benefit from new ink support for Web-based applications in the SDK, such as customer relationship management or timesheet systems that support handwriting for mobile users.

— Better integration with Microsoft Office System programs. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 delivers deep pen-and-ink integration with the Microsoft Office System programs. Users can insert text easily and annotate anywhere in Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, or Microsoft Office PowerPoint(R) 2003, and send handwritten e-mail messages in Microsoft Office Outlook(R) 2003. Using Microsoft Office OneNote(R) 2003 on a Tablet PC brings together ink, text and Web content — all in one place.

— Wireless improvements. Windows XP SP2 includes updated support for Bluetooth(R), enabling customers to take advantage of the latest wireless devices, including a number of wireless keyboards and mice, wireless printers, and connections with cell phones and PDAs.

Automatic Updates Delivery of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 and Windows XP SP2

For customers who have already turned on the Automatic Updates feature of Windows XP, delivery of Windows XP SP2 and Tablet PC Edition 2005 has already begun. When a customer can expect to receive the update depends on a number of factors, including the customer’s Internet usage, location and language, and the level of Internet demand for Windows XP SP2 and Tablet PC Edition 2005. Automatic Updates uses spare Internet capacity to progressively download updates without interfering with daily PC use and remains the recommended method for receiving Windows XP SP2 and Tablet PC Edition 2005.

New Tablet PC Applications and Hardware Designs

Currently, more than 300 independent software vendors are creating innovative software solutions that take advantage of pen-and-ink capabilities in the Tablet PC operating system. A list of the current ISV applications is available in the Microsoft Tablet PC Applications Catalog. More than 40 companies design and manufacture Tablet PCs worldwide today. Over the next 12 months, a series of new hardware designs will be made available, including designs for businesses, students and consumers. Partners, such as recently announced Tablet PC manufacturer Averatec Inc., have experienced strong adoption of their Tablet PC design among consumers and see future success feeding off strong support from Microsoft and industry partners.

“Customer interest in hardware that incorporates Tablet PC technology is definitely picking up,” said Saeed Shahbazi, president of Averatec. “Microsoft’s newest Tablet operating system will continue to encourage adoption and, of course, Averatec will continue to develop convertible notebooks that further strengthen the breadth of the user base for the Windows Tablet operating system.”

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Microsoft Announces Availability of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
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