Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, called Tablet PCs “niche” last week and angered Tablet PC lovers the world over. Why? Mostly because even Microsoft isn’t backing Tablet PCs, let alone the world at large.
Tablet PCs were supposed to be the next big thing back in 2002 and they’ve still not taken off, leading many – including, apparently, Ozzie – to consider them niche. However, there is a full sub-culture of computer users who think Tablet PCs are the bees knees. It seems Windows 7 will include a bit of touch interface but I suspect that wlll be less about handwriting recognition and a bit more about the multi-touch, Surface-y stuff that everyone seems to love.
I think Tablet PCs are dead in most cases although I did see a nice medical tablet the other day that looks great for vertical applications. As a consumer plaform, however, I’d say it’s DOA.