With a Microsoft tablet announcement apparently just hours away, Steven Levy humorously tweets out this link to an article he wrote 11 years ago:
EXCLUSIVE! Inside story of MS Tablet. (disclaimer: story is 11 years old.) thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2001/…—
Steven Levy (@StevenLevy) June 18, 2012
Here’s a snippet of that article via The Daily Beast:
The mantra of its hundred-member Tablet PC team is “the simplicity of paper combined with the power of the PC.” The prototype looks like a Palm on steroids, with a color screen and the alarming presence of the Windows task bar on the bottom. But using a special digital pen, you can write on it clipboard style, manipulate your scrawled notes like typed text, annotate all your documents and stylus-surf the Web. You can also listen to music, read novels and dictate your own novel. All while maintaining eye contact with your business associates and loved ones. If Microsoft is correct, the Tablet PC, due out in 2002, will not be merely a clever appliance but a revolutionary device that actually replaces the laptop in your briefcase and the PC on your desk. “We want to have everything that’s great about the [PC] and extend that, so people have more hours in the day to use it,” says the product manager, Alex Loeb.
This is why you won’t see any excitement from me today regardless of what Microsoft announces. I want to see people with it in their hands and using it before I jump on this bandwagon. Microsoft had an eight year advantage on Apple in the tablet space, and squandered it with fans and styluses. I fear they’ll drop the ball this time around with multiple user interfaces and an inability to compete on price.