July 2005

Tapwave Zodiac is gone
When you go to www.tapave.com, it'll say, "We are sorry to inform you that the Zodiac business was discontinued and service and support are no longer available as of July 25th 2005."

That is so sad. The Zodiac was easily the most innovative and most promising PDA platform in a long time. It received rave reviews and had almost unlimited potential. In the same respect, it perhaps suffered from an identity crisis. It was a premium Palm device that looked like a game controller/console, which means business types couldn't bring it to a meeting. As a game device, it lacked truly good gaming titles and developer community support. Game consoles are usually supported by game sales. The Zodiac couldn't do that and was thus perceived as a very expensive gaming console. Tapwave itself was both very open to working with the tech press, but also rejected our early criticism on game quality and variety. So it's "another one bites the dust," and that is too darn bad.
-- Posted Thursday, July 28, 2005 by chb

InStat: Tablet PC market to grow to US$5.4 billion by 2009
A new InStat report, "Tablet PC 2005: Increasing Shipments Amid a Cloudy Future," predicts an increase in shipments from US$1.2 billion in 2004 to US$5.4 billion in 2009, but mixed overall success. According to InStat, vertical markets continue to be the driving force. InStat also says an integrated next-gen Tablet PC OS in Microsoft's Longhorn would have a significant impact on TPC sales, and that the recently announced Ultra Mobile 2007 portable PC form factor could have a significant impact on future TPC shipments. -- Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2005 by chb

Get involved in the Tablet PC product development process at Microsoft
Microsoft Usability Research group is currently seeking Tablet PC users from the Seattle area to participate in a 2 hour usability study for the Tablet PC team. Donít miss this exciting opportunity to make a direct impact on the product design and development of future Tablet PC applications and/or form factors. All scheduled participants for our usability studies will receive a software gratuity for their time.

Please contact Derek St. Laurent at 1-888-261-8488 (or 425-722-0574 direct line) if youíre interested. Derek can also be contacted at a-dereks@microsoft.com.
-- Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 by chb

Sharp develops "anti-snooping" LCD
Everyone loves wide-angle LCDs, especially the Tablet PC folks, but a side-effect is that the person sitting next to you can see what's on your screen. Which isn't always what you want. So Sharp developed a new LCD that can be switched between wide and narrow viewing angle. Very clever (but we hope that the wide angle setting is really wide angle). [click to see] -- Posted Friday, July 15, 2005 by chb