Leading Companies in Computer Industry Announce Commitment To Tablet PC Platform

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 26, 2001 — Leading companies in portable PC, semiconductors and components today announced their support for Tablet PCs – next-generation Windows® based PCs. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., made the announcement of this industry support during his keynote address at the annual Windows Hardware and Engineering Conference (WinHEC).

The Tablet PC is a full-function, slate-like computer, based on the Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system, that represents the evolution of notebook computing. Tablet PCs combine the simplicity of paper with the full power of the PC experience.

“The incredible support from industry leaders for the Tablet PC will help us deliver a rich and extended computing experience” Gates said. “This is a very broad initiative to create truly innovative and powerful Tablet PCs. The Tablet PC will be an even more important advance for PCs than notebook computers were.”

Industry Support

Microsoft announced that the following companies are announcing their intent to produce systems, semiconductors and components that will maximize the opportunity to realize the fullest potential of the Tablet PC:

OEM Systems Manufacturers

  • Acer Inc.

  • Compaq Computer Corp.

  • Fujitsu PC Corp.

  • Sony Corp.

  • Toshiba Corp.

Semiconductor Technology

  • Intel Corp.

  • Transmeta Corp.

Components

  • Fine Point (pen technology)

  • Silicon Motion Inc. (low-power graphics chips)

  • Silver Cloud Manufacturing Co. (display technology)

Design and Manufacturing

  • Flextronics Design

“The initial positive response of the industry to Microsoft’s Tablet PC initiative has exceeded our highest expectations, ” said Alexandra Loeb, general manager of the Tablet PC at Microsoft. “We are optimistic that over the coming months, additional OEMs and hardware vendors will announce their support for the Tablet PC. ”

“Natural Computing”

Gates highlighted the Tablet PC as a major example of how the PC platform will continue to evolve and be even more useful for business computing. “The Tablet PC makes PCs even more relevant to users, ” he said. “It enables people to interact with their PC in a more natural and intuitive way through digital ink or voice input. And it helps them use their PC more effectively in everyday tasks like taking notes at meetings, working collaboratively and reading electronic documents. ”

About the Tablet PC

The Tablet PC is a new slate-like computer using the Windows XP Professional operating system, optimized for mobility and designed to be convenient, light and ergonomic. The Tablet PC technology enables Windows-based applications to take advantage of pen-based input. With software developed and optimized by Microsoft for the new platform, the Tablet PC can function as a sheet of paper. Handwriting is captured as rich digital ink for immediate or later manipulation, including reformatting and editing. The linkage between the pen input process and a wide range of Windows-based applications will give users new ways in which to collaborate, communicate and bring their PCs to bear on new tasks (such as annotating and updating a document on the fly and then wirelessly transmitting the finished version). Its high-resolution display makes it ideal for immersive reading and rich multimedia applications.

The Tablet PC’s full Windows XP Professional capability also will enable it to be a user’s primary computer. Utilizing a high-performance x86-compatible chip architecture, the Tablet PC takes advantage of key technology improvements in high-resolution, low-power LCDs; efficient batteries; wireless connectivity; and data storage to deliver a rich set of functionality that adds the dimension of pen input. The actual shipping versions of Tablet PCs from the OEMs announced today will vary in specific size and design implementations, but all will embody the historic vision of a Tablet PC: to deliver a more natural and intuitive computing experience without sacrificing performance or portability.

Tablet PCs are expected to be available in 2002. Final pricing and availability will be determined by the individual systems manufacturers.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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