Tablet PC users have been amongst the few friends of Windows Vista to date due to the significant improvements of handwriting recognition, pen and touch input from Windows XP.
Background: Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition, Microsoft Windows Vista and now Windows 7 all include sophisticated multi-language handwriting recognition software. They are capable of recognising even the worst handwriting. They recognise your natural freehand writing style (cursive script or printing) so you don’t have to print or learn a special way of writing.
Thankfully, as Windows 7 hits the market with much better mainstream acceptance, Tablet PC users will no longer have to apologise for their choice of operating system!
There are some significant improvements in the way that Windows 7 handles recognition, even after the leap forward that we had with Vista.
It’s all thanks to an enormous amount of work from the Windows Engineering Input team. You can read more about their incredible work here:
Some of the features that you can expect to see in Windows 7:
- Inline text recognition – less mental power required!
- New correction gestures and options
- Improved support for East Asian Languages – Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Japanese
- Math Input
- Easier web addresses
- Touch optimised keyboard.
Here are some video previews (bear in mind that screen capture programs don’t do well at following tablet input due to the graphics intensity, so the videos don’t do it justice… but you get the idea).
Handwriting conversion as you go:
New correction gestures and options:
Improved web address entry:
For Tablet PC veterans, some of the changes may take a little getting used to. Seeing your chicken scratch turn into nice legible words on the go is a little disconcerting initially.
It was only when I read the articles above and analysed my method of working in the TIP (Tablet Input Panel) that I realised how much concentration it takes to work that way. Windows 7 lowers the requirements significantly by converting your handwriting as you go.
Since in Windows 7 you can see the recognition results without moving your gaze far- up, down, across, etc – it takes much less effort to write and correct. Even a mac user could do it! ;-P (Please, it’s a joke! I love mac users and l even have an iPhone!)
As with Vista, Windows 7 recognition keeps getting smarter. You can train the recogniser to work with you particular writing style and the system also learns automatically from your corrections.
The correction methods are awesome in Windows 7 and it is very difficult to work on Vista now without them!
We can happily say that Windows 7 will be a big boost to your Tablet PC productivity.