Another one of those Vista / Tablet PC quirks

I was preparing for my next InkShow on the TIP and Personalization in Vista, when I came across some interesting changes in the categorization of included Tablet PC apps.

In Windows XP SP2, when you go to Start / Programs, there is a folder called Tablet PC. In that folder is Journal, Sticky Notes, and the tutorial. In addition, Journal and Sticky Notes show up in the general list of programs. So, when you start up your tablet pc for the first time, it is fairly easy to find Tablet PC stuff.


In Vista, the Tablet PC folder is hidden under Accessories, grouped with other folder options like System Tools, Ease of Access, etc. So to find Windows Journal, for example, you click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Tablet PC.  With their current organization of programs, I can see putting Tablet PC stuff under Accessories. However, considering that Notepad and Wordpad are programs directly accessible under Accessories, and they are rudimentary notetaking tools at best, wouldn’t it make sense to make Tablet PC notetaking programs just as easily accessible to the first time Tablet PC user?  This must have changed since the last build, because in the last build (5456), Tablet PC was a major category option. I’m currently using build 5472.

In my opinion, they need to either move Tablet PC out from under Accessories and stick it in a major grouping accessible right outside All Programs, or take all the 3 Tablet PC programs currently found in the Tablet PC folder and move them directly under Accessories like their other accessory applications.

It is one of those usability / out of the box experience issues that just bug me, and one I’m going to submit it as a bug because I want to bring some attention to the issue. If I, as a new customer, went to the trouble to decide that I wanted a Tablet PC, why make it harder for me to find some of the Tablet PC features I just paid for.