Gates Still Roots for Tablet PCs

After failing to break into the mainstream of computing, the Tablet PC might have been written off by many, but it still has at least one strong supporter. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, said Monday that he still believes in the form-factor and repeated a prediction that, with better hardware and software, it could still dominate traditional laptop PCs.

Gates showed prototype Tablet PCs at the Comdex show in Las Vegas in 2001--a year ahead of their 2002 launch--and at the show said in a statement, "It's a PC that is virtually without limits and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America."

Slow Progress

It's now a little over three and a half years into the time period he set, and to date the Tablet PC has managed to do only marginally better than the now defunct Comdex trade show. A handful of vendors market Tablet PCs, but specialized markets such as health care account for a large percentage of sales. Other users, and those in business, have yet to take to the form factor in a big way.

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