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Windows XP Tablet PC 2005 Released with XP SP2

Microsoft updated its Tablet PC operating system for the first time since 2002 by including Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 as part of Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Microsoft began the final stage of its online rollout of Windows XP SP2 on Wednesday by allowing Windows XP Professional clients to start receiving the bits via Automatic Update.

The free upgrade for Tablet PC users offers several usability and integration enhancements, as well as a new developer platform.

New features include an "in-place" tablet input panel (TIP) that allows for faster text input as well as new real-time recognition software that allows users to correct handwritten entries before conversion and preview the conversion before it's inserted into the text block. The upgrade also offers improved integration with Microsoft Office 2003 and new contextual awareness tools that allow users to add rules for how handwriting should be recognized in specific fields. For example, a field can be set to numbers only, preventing a "5" from being confused with an "S."

The new developer platform, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Software Development Platform 1.7, improves context-sensitive support for forms solutions and offers new ink support for Web-based applications designed for mobile users, the company said.

"Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 is a significant step toward delivering on our vision of incorporating Tablet PC functionality as a standard mobile feature in notebook PCs," Bill Mitchell, corporate vice president of the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft, said in a statement. "The long-term commitment by Microsoft [is to continue] unlocking new ways and new places to use the mobile PC."

According to Microsoft, more than 140 companies design and manufacture Tablet PCs worldwide, and more than 300 vendors offer software applications.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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