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Hello, Vista. Good-bye Tablet OS?

In case you didn't know, Microsoft's Vista operating system launches today. Though there are 80 gazillion different versions of Vista, I didn't see any of them labeled "Tablet OS". What gives, Ballmer?
In case you didn't know, Microsoft's Vista operating system launches today. Though there are 80 gazillion different versions of Vista, I didn't see any of them labeled "Tablet OS". What gives, Ballmer?

In scrolling the headlines today, I noticed a small blurb from HP about a new TouchScreen PC they are working on. You can read about it here. As I was perusing the article, I thought to myself, "Hmm, is there a Tablet version of Vista?" So off in search of Vista Tablet I went...My first stop was Motion Computing, one of the premier purveyors of Tablet PCs. According to the site, the LE1600 and LS800 still come with Windows XP. No mention of Vista is made on their web site. Next up was Gateway. They are still selling what they call "convertible" notebooks, but with Vista installed. Hmm. Interesting. It didn't say anything about Vista Tablet Edition. It just said Vista. Panasonic still sells its ToughBook-19 with XP Tablet Edition, but "recommends" Vista for businesses. No word on its site whether or not the tablet functionality will be affected by the new OS. Dell seems to be a distribution channel for Motion Computing to sell its Tablets, with none with the Dell brand on them. (Little wonder, this, since the Motion folks are a bunch of ex-Dellies.)

Then I decided it was time to visit the Micro-softies site. I performed a search for "Vista Tablet." I could not find the two words paired together anywhere. I found some community forum articles that said that tablet PCs will work with Vista, that Vista natively supports Tablet functionality. Um, okay. When you go to the page that shows off all the editions of Vista, there's not a word of Tablet support. I couldn't find any thing that was actually written by Microsoft that said, "Yes, moron, you can install Vista on your crummy Tablet PC and it will continue to work in much the same way."

My conclusion is that there is no specific Vista Tablet Edition, but Vista does appear to be a safe upgrade for Tablet users (as long as your hardware meets the required specs).

I'd love to hear from users in the field who actually attempt to install Vista on their Tablets. Feel free to email me and let me know how it worked out.