Improving the tablet PC experience

Last year I blogged about how Windows XP SP2 improves the tablet PC experience for users. I did manage to get hold of a tablet PC, but unfortunately it came in several USB-connected parts (not like the modern tablets which are effectively dual-purpose notebook/tablet PCs) and so I haven’t really used it. The company that I work for is evaluating the new generation of tablets (e.g. the excellent Toshiba Portégé M200), but I’ll just have to wait my turn!

For those who do have a tablet PC that’s running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (i.e. the SP2 version), Microsoft has now released the (dubiously named) Experience Pack for Tablet PC including six new programs that they claim “will help you be more productive and creative” (some of these were previously available as unsupported downloads):

  • Ink Desktop – allows the notes to be taken directly on the desktop for quick and easy access later.
  • Snipping Tool – lets the tablet pen be used to select a portion of a website, document, or other content on the screen. Handwritten comments can then be added and the composite image pasted into another program (such as an e-mail message).
  • Ink Art – allows painting with a tablet pen.
  • Media Transfer (requires Windows Media Player 10) – allows the copying or streaming of media files from another computer (e.g at home) to a tablet PC, to enjoy access to music, home videos or digital photo albums whenever and wherever.
  • Ink Crossword – lets users solve crosswords on their tablet PC using a tablet pen. Twelve puzzles are included and a daily puzzle can be downloaded free of charge with further puzzle packs available for purchase online.
  • Energy Blue Theme Pack – previously released as a separate download, which now appears to be unavailable.

Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows features a review of the experience pack but it looks to include some useful enhancements for tablet PC users.

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