GottaBeMobile.com reader Kevin Bals was in attendance at a large school conference on Thursday and got to speaking to his regional Dell reps about the possibilities of a Dell Tablet PC and has some fascinating information to pass along.
I was at a large school convention on Thursday and ran into the Dell Reps for my area. I was telling them about how we use the Toshiba Tablets and wireless Epson Projectors in our classrooms. I asked them if Dell was coming out with a Tablet anytime soon and they said to look for a late spring release of a Dell Tablet. They said Michael Dell was very much against the tablet. Over time though he realized the tablet was a gateway into the school for other vendors. For example since the school had to go elsewhere for the tablets they ended up buying printers, desktops or projectors from the other vendor as well.
They also said that Dell usually waits for a particular product to become mainstream and then they look to develop a product and own the market. Dell feels that since Vista will have the tablet features built right into the OS that the corporate world will embrace the tablet on a large scale. The reps said this will be especially true once service pack 1 is out for Vista. They plan on releasing their tablet to coincide with the release of service pack 1 for Vista.
In the same way that the Lenovo Tablet PC broke down some walls for the corporate and education environment, a Dell Tablet PC would do the same thing, but in a much bigger way. I suspect that we will see Dell come out with only one Tablet PC and it will probably look like their Latitude line, although that is pure speculation and not based upon any inside information.