RealTime IT News

Compaq Chooses XP for its Tablet PC

Compaq Computer Corp. endorsed Microsoft's XP operating system Monday when it agreed to fit the software platform into its pending tablet PC.

A proven consumer-sales leader in the PC industry, Compaq has deemed XP the right fit for its own tablet PCs, which are small, mobile computers the size of an 11-by-13-inch sheet of paper on which people may take notes with a stylus.

Compaq will be a strategic partner in working with Microsoft to developing the Tablet PC for Windows XP. The two companies have entered into an agreement to work together to define the platform.

The tablet PC is a relatively new notebook computing concept and functions as a sheet of paper. Handwriting is captured as rich digital ink for immediate or later manipulation, including reformatting and editing.

While most heavyweights of PC-making are beginning their foray into the tablet PC conception, companies such as Fujitsu and Hitachi are farther along in the process, having already created a few models of their own.

In fact, a recent report by International Data Corp. found that Fujitsu is overwhelmingly the market leader for tablet PCs, with a 70 percent hold on that sector.

"You will now be able to make changes and add notes to existing documents while on the go using a new intuitive interface, and then wirelessly transmit those documents to those who need the updated materials," said Jeri Callaway, vice president of commercial PC products, Compaq Access Business Group.

Compaq expects to ship its tablet PC when the Windows XP version for tablet PC is released in 2002. Pricing is not available.

Microsoft announced its own tablet PC last November at Comdex 2000, but developments for it have been scant since. But Microsoft Monday said Transmeta Corp. agreed to power its tablet PC with the low-power Crusoe chip by 2002.

Microsoft will fit Transmeta's chips into its tablet PC, which will run Windows XP. The firms believe high performance, low weight, cool running temperatures and long battery life will attract consumers to the product.