Michael Gartenberg has posted a commentary at Engadget entitled, “Why the pen isn’t mightier than the keyboard,” explaining why the Tablet PC and pen computing have failed to take off. He points to the inadequacy of handwriting recognition and hardware as key elements holding back adoption of the Tablet PC and lays out three points to get the form factor moving forward.
Despite the seemingly dour tone, Gartenberg is not attacking the form factor, just pointing out why it’s stuck in its apparent rut. I agree with him on pretty much everything, but that’s largely because he isn’t adding anything we haven’t all been saying for years. Most, if not all, Tablet PC enthusiasts have at some point said Microsoft needs to actively raise awareness (like maybe have someone in their ads buy a Tablet PC, not just cheap laptops) and reach out to potential users and markets. Still, it’s encouraging to see this message on a mainstream tech blog. Hopefully, it will help get the message out beyond our current niche.