Microsoft Sees Collaborative Future

NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. said it would roll
out a new version of Office next year and announced
the arrival of its new Tablet PC, both of which it
said heralded a new era of collaborative technology
designed to meet the needs of mobile workers.

Speaking at the TechXNY/PC Expo in New York City on
Tuesday, Jeff Raikes, Microsoft’s group vice president
for productivity and business services, said Microsoft
would ship Office 11 by the middle of next year.
Raikes said Microsoft would unveil some of Office 11’s
new features through the year, showing off Outlook’s
new messaging and collaboration client.

Raikes said Microsoft would also bump up its
commitment to XML, which allows documents to be read
across a variety of platforms.

“We, along with the rest of the industry, have been
investing in XML,” he said.

Microsoft also showcased its upcoming Windows XP for Tablet PC Edition — designed
to bring together the screen, PC, and paper — which will be
available on Nov. 7. Tablet PCs are an outgrowth of
notebook technology, with a keyboard and the ability
to use a pen to write notes that are convertible to
text.

“We have the opportunity to realize the potential of
information work,” he said. “The most precious thing
you have, as a knowledge worker, as an information
worker, is your time.”

The Tablet PC will use a superset of Windows XP
Professional, along with an Office XP Pack for Tablet
PC that has pen capabilities.

The Tablet PC will have a Software Development Kit
(SDK) to provide a set of documentation, sample
programs and headers for software vendors to build or
modify applications to run on a Tablet PC. The SDK
also includes platform-level application programming
interfaces, a platform automation layer, and controls
for adding pen input and handwriting capabilities to
any Windows-based application.

The Tablet PC SDK includes detailed design guidelines, which lets developers calculate optimal dimmensional mesurements of controls based on display resolution. It also comes with 17 sample applications highlighting the Tablet PC’s key features. Developers can use SDK and Visual Studio to integrate and test their applications with Tablet PC’s pen-and-ink capabilities.

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