Hardware and software companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and SGI, are committed to the product, and numerous niche players have joined the fray. Motion Computing recently secured $6.5 million in investment funding to support sales and marketing of its M1200 Tablet PC. Microsoft itself said in its most recent quarterly report that it may spend "significant" amounts of cash on Tablet PC development going forward.
Still, some vendors remain cautious. IBM and Dell Computer haven't announced plans to sell Tablet PCs. Acer says it expects to sell no more than 10,000 units of its TravelMate 100 Tablet PCs through Christmas, hardly making it this year's Furby.
One factor that could curb sales is price. Some Tablet PCs cost more than $2,000, far more than most notebook computers. Some analysts say the Tablet PC won't take root as a broadly used business computing device at least until prices come down. Says Technology Business Research analyst Lindy Lesperance, "We think initial demand will come from companies looking to fill a very specific vertical need, such as mobile health-care applications."